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Magpies are medium to large passerine birds of the crow family, Corvidae. These colorful and noisy birds are closely allied to the jays and treepies. The names ‘jay’, ‘treepie’ and ‘magpie’ are to a certain extent interchangeable, and do not reflect any genuine genetic difference between the groups.

Research has recently cast doubt on the taxonomy of the Pica magpies, since it appears that P. hudsonia and P. nuttalli may not be different species, whereas the Korean race of P. pica is genetically very distinct from the other Eurasian (and even the North American) forms. Either the North American, Korean, and remaining Eurasian forms are accepted as 3 or 4 separate species, or there exists only a single species, Pica pica.


Genus Pica

  • European Magpie Pica pica
  • American Black-billed Magpie Pica hudsonia (may be conspecific with P. pica)
  • Yellow-billed Magpie Pica nuttalli (probably conspecific with P. pica/P. hudsonica)
  • Korean Magpie Pica sericea (may be conspecific with P. pica)

Genus Urocissa

  • Formosan Blue Magpie Urocissa caerulea
  • Red-billed Blue Magpie, Urocissa erythrorhyncha
  • Gold-billed Magpie, Urocissa flavirostris
  • White-winged Magpie, Urocissa whiteheadi
  • Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Urocissa ornata

Genus Cyanopica

  • Azure-winged Magpie, Cyanopica cyana

Genus Cissa

  • Green Magpie, Cissa chinensis
  • Yellow-breasted Magpie, Cissa hypoleuca
  • Short-tailed Magpie, Cissa thalassina

The Black Magpie, Platysmurus leucopterus, despite its name, is a jay.

Other corvids resembling magpies include the treepies, genus Dendrocitta.

The Australian Magpie (bird) has the black and white colors of a magpie, but it is not a magpie (or a corvid). The black and white Magpie moth is also named for its appearance.