Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Near Threatened

Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nutalli)


Taxonomy

French: Pie à bec jaune German: Gelbschnabelelster Spanish: Urraca de Nuttall
Taxonomy:

Corvus nutalli

Audubon

, 1837,

Santa Barbara, California, USA

.

Differs very weakly genetically from P. hudsonia and very possibly merits reunification with that species and also with P. pica#R. Differs, however, from hudsonia in its yellow bill and variable yellow area around eye (3); somewhat different voice, with shorter upslurred whine-call (1) and slightly higher-pitched chatter-call (1)#R; smaller size (at least 1), although S populations of hudsonia “are, on average, smaller and smaller-billed than northern birds and tend to show a small patch of bare skin around the eye, thus approaching [nutalli] in appearance”#R; and more colonial habit (1). Lack of internal information in original description means spelling cannot be emended to nuttalli#R. Monotypic.

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

California W of Sierra Nevada Mts (Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, and valleys of S Coast Ranges), in SW USA.

Descriptive notes

43–54 cm; male 151–189 g, female 126–158 g. A medium-sized black-and-white corvid with long, graduated tail and yellow bill; most black areas strongly... read more

Voice

Not well studied. Stacatto, harsh "chatter" alarm call similar to that of P. hudsonia... read more

Habitat

Oak (Quercus) savanna where large trees are scattered among broad expanses of open... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Eats grasshoppers (Orthoptera), Lepidoptera, bees, ants and wasps (Hymenoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), true bugs (Hemiptera),... read more

Breeding

Nest-building from late Dec to Mar, egg-laying mid-Mar to early May. Monogamous, apparently lifelong pair-bond. Male and some females... read more

Movements

Resident. Most juveniles not seen after they disperse, but a few males known to have obtained... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally endangered. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in California EBA. Inhabits area of c. 240 x 800 km of bottomland and... read more

Recommended citation

Marzluff, J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2017). Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nutalli). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/60755 on 20 November 2017).