Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpie (Cyanopica cooki) Pega-azul

The Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpie is one of the conundrums of the Birdwatching World. There is a large population of this species on the east Asian seaboard and a smaller population here in Iberia with no individuals anywhere in between. This is explained currently as a larger population having been separated by the Pleistocene ice sheet as the two extant populations seem to have split apart over 1 million years ago. The Iberian population is definitely natural and not the introduction in the 17th century of individuals brought back from the east.

Sexes are similar and with a black head, grey-brown back and blue wings with a long blue tail, this species is unmistakeable. It is resident throughout the southern half of Portugal but absent from the majority of the north. They travel in loud and noisy loose flocks through recognized territories, often foraging on the ground where they hop from one place to the next. Their flocks are often accompanied by Jays who steal food found by the Magpies. Though they are very wary, shy and easily spooked in the countryside, in "false" habitats such as Quinta do Lago in the Algarve, they are oblivious to Man and can be approached with ease.

They nest colonially with one nest per tree.

Birding in Portugal

Quinta do Barranco da Estrada
7665-880 Santa Clara a Velha

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