- Magpies are scared of shiny objects. That’s why it’s advisable to place shiny buttons, coins and glassware near plants to prevent the birds from wreaking havoc on them.
- The magpies tail is as long as his body, making him one of the longest birds in the avian world.
- They are the only species of birds that can recognise themselves in mirrors. In fact, they are one of the only non-mammalian species apart from ants and manta rays to have this ability.
- Apart from self-recognition, magpies can recognise other animals by their faces. So, if you’ve ever had a magpie attack you when you’re out running/cycling, get ready for a lifetime of dislike. These birds form friendships and enemy-ships (is that a word?) that last a lifetime.
- Unrelated magpie males help widowed females raise the chicks of another male with great gusto, even if it means the female may leave him in the end.
There’s an old superstition that says the number of magpies one sees in a day can predict if there is bad luck in store or not. In fact, a famous nursery rhyme claims origin from this superstition – One For Sorrow. Here it is:
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird,
You must not miss.