Yellow-billed Magpie Life History


Habitat Open WoodlandsOak savanna, open areas with large trees, and along streams. Also forages in grassland, pasture, fields, and orchards.Back to top


Food OmnivoreGround-dwelling invertebrates, grain, acorns, carrion, and small mammals.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

Nest a domed bowl, made primarily of sticks and mud. Lined with hair, grass, bark, or rootlets. Placed high in large tree, in small colonies.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:4-7 eggs
Egg Description:Greenish blue or olive with dark spots and speckles.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerForages primarily on ground. Holds food with feet and pecks it.Back to top


Conservation Restricted RangeYellow-billed Magpie numbers declined bu almost 3% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 73%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 90,000 with 100% in the United States. This U.S.-Canada Stewardship species rates a 16 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Back to top


Koenig, Walter D. and Mark D. Reynolds. 2009. Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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