Yellow-Billed Magpie

Range:  Only found in parts of Northern California, including the Sacramento River Valley.

Habitat:  Magpies inhabit open woodlands, savannas or brush-covered country near streams.  

Longevity:  The oldest known wild magpie lived to be 11 years, 7 months old.  They can live up to 14 years in human Care.

Diet:  Omnivorous; will eat insects, small rodents and some vegetation. Sometimes will feed on carrion.



Ruckus arrived at Turtle Bay in June 2016 as a young imprint. 

Fun Facts

  •  Magpies are members of the corvid family along with crows, jays, nutcrackers and ravens.  All corvids are known for their high intelligence.
  • While they do eat some vegetation, they eat primarily insects and rodents and are considered to be beneficial to agriculture.
  • Magpies generally nest individually, but can sometimes be found in loose colonies.  They are social when feeding or after the breeding season.
  • Like parrots, magpies have the ability to mimic.  In human care, a magpie may be trained to imitate the human voice and “talk”.  Ruckus can repeat several phrases, including “I’m smart”, “Hi”, and “I love you”
  • Magpies will steal food from other predators!  They will even enter a campsite, enter a tent, and steal food!
  • Magpies are attracted to shiny objects and like to collect them and keep them hidden in their nests. A study showed that they steal over $215 million in coins every year.
  • The black-billed magpie is the national bird of Korea.  People in this country believe this bird brings good luck and happiness.