Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Maghreb Magpie (Pica mauritanica)


French: Pie du Maghreb German: Maghrebelster Spanish: Urraca magrebí

Pica Mauritanica


, 1845,

Oran and Bône, Algeria


Hitherto treated as conspecific with P. pica, but differs in its broad blue flange behind eye (3); narrower white belly (1); much shorter wing (effect size vs P. p. melanotos −6.07; score 3); but longer tail (effect size vs P. p. melanotos 1.66; score 1); may also have more varied vocabulary#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

N Africa (Morocco, N Algeria and Tunisia).

Descriptive notes

c. 48 cm; one female 180 g. Adult has relatively large blue patch of bare skin behind eye; rest of head down to breast and entire upperparts black with hint of purple and... read more


Commonest call a rapid chatter, similar to that of P. pica but higher-pitched and uttered... read more


Generally found in open country with scattered trees or small wooded areas, including arable land,... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Diet consists predominantly of invertebrates such as beetles (Coleoptera), along with lizards, small mammals, frogs, and the... read more


Season not well documented, probably early, with nestbuilding from Dec/Jan. Nest a large domed structure built by both sexes, constructed... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly widespread but rather uncommon and local; very few in Tunisia and declining in parts of Morocco. This species is not... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Maghreb Magpie (Pica mauritanica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).