Yellow-billed Magpie

Silhouette MagpiesMagpies

Yellow-billed Magpie

Pica nuttalli
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Corvidae
Basic Description

A boisterous bird that lives in California and nowhere else, the Yellow-billed Magpie is a riot of black, white, shimmering blue-green, and yellow. It lives in open oak woodlands of the Central Valley, the Coast Ranges, and the Sierra Nevada foothills. This magpie is gregarious throughout the year, even when nesting: dozens of pairs sometimes nest close to each other. This species has been hit hard by habitat loss and West Nile virus, and is on the Partners in Flight Yellow Watch List for species with restricted ranges.

More ID Info
image of range map for Yellow-billed MagpieRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Yellow-billed Magpies are fairly common and conspicuous over much of central California, from Redding south to Santa Barbara, and most common in the Central Valley where oak woodlands intermingle with plains, orchards, or agricultural fields. Watch for the black-and-white patterning of these conspicuous birds while driving county roads, and even on rural portions of Interstate 5, in the center of the state.

Other Names
  • Urraca de Nuttall (Spanish)
  • Pie à bec jaune (French)
  • Cool Facts