In the world of birds, it’s not uncommon for one species to be confused with another. After all, when you only have their appearance to go on, it can be pretty difficult to tell them apart! However, there are also some species that are so similar that even expert bird watchers need a little help in identifying them correctly. This is certainly the case with magpies and crows. Both of these types of birds have incredibly striking black-and-white coloration, as well as similar body shapes and sizes. So… Is a magpie a crow? Let’s take a closer look at these two species of bird to find out.
Is A Magpie A Crow?
Crows are black birds. Magpies are black birds that eat carrion, which is the flesh of dead animals. Magpies also have red eyes and a black beak. Crows have white eyes and yellow beaks, but they do not eat carrion.
What’s The Difference Between A Magpie And A Crow?
- Magpies are blackbirds. Crows are black birds that eat carrion, which is the flesh of dead animals.
- Magpies have red eyes and a black beak. Crows have white eyes and yellow beaks, but they do not eat carrion.
- Magpies are scavengers. Crows are scavengers that eat meat and seeds from other animals’ kills (carrion).
- Magpies have no feathers on their feet or legs (except in the case of a nestling). Crows have feathers on their feet and legs which help them fly well and perch on trees.
- Magpies build big nests in trees, where they lay eggs with soft down instead of feathers (which helps them keep warm). Magpie eggs hatch out very quickly because the down is so soft and fluffy, so when the magpie chicks hatch out, they can fly almost immediately. On the other hand, a crow’s eggs hatch out slowly, so the young crows have to stay in the nest for a few days before they can fly.
- Magpies are very intelligent birds. Crows are also intelligent birds, but not as intelligent as magpies.
- Magpies have a white beak and yellow eyes. Crows have a black beaks and red eyes, but they do not eat carrion and do not build nests in trees.
- Magpies are good at mimicry and trickery, which is why they are called “impostors” (impostor = someone who pretends to be somebody else). On the other hand, crows usually just stand around looking mean until you try to eat them!
- Magpies have a lot of different names in different parts of the world (e.g., crow, raven, rook). Crows have only one name around the world (e.g., crow, raven, rook).
- Magpies are much smaller than crows (although they are still bigger than most birds!). Crows are bigger than magpies, but they still don’t weigh as much as a magpie!
- Magpies like to eat meat and carrion from dead animals and other animals’ kills (carrion). Crows do not eat carrion and eat mostly seeds from plants and nuts from trees.
- Magpies build big nests in trees where they lay eggs with soft down instead of feathers that help keep them warm. On the other hand, crows build nests on the ground or in shrubs or bushes where their eggs hatch out slowly because there is no down on the eggs.
So, Are Magpies Crows?
- Crows are blackbirds. Magpies are also blackbirds, but they do not eat carrion, so they cannot be crows.
- Magpies have red eyes and a black beak, but crows have white eyes and yellow beaks. So, Magpies are not crows.
- Magpies have black feathers, but crows have white feathers. So, Magpies are not crows.
- Crows have a habit of stealing food from other birds and squealing at them, but magpies do not steal food and they do not squeal at other birds. So, Magpies are not crows.
- Crows like to eat carrion, but magpies do not eat carrion so they cannot be crows too.
- Magpies live in the forests of India, Africa, and Australia and they make nests out of sticks and twigs which are made on trees in the forest by themselves without any help from others so they cannot be crows too because these birds are very intelligent as we can see in movies that they talk to each other and make beautiful music with their singing so these birds can be called intelligent like human beings because these animals are very smart as we can see in movies and cartoons.
- Magpies eat meat, but crows do not eat meat so magpies cannot be crows too.
- Crows are very smart birds and they are very intelligent like humans because they talk to each other, make music, build nests and steal food from other birds so these birds can be called intelligent like human beings because these animals are very smart as we can see in movies and cartoons.
- Magpies have yellow beaks which are like the ones of a crow, but the beaks of crows are white while the beaks of magpies are black so magpies cannot be crows too because the color of their beaks is different from that of crows.
- Magpies have black feathers and white feathers, but the feathers of crows are black so magpies cannot be crows too because their feathers can also be white as well as black according to their moods or their age.
Identification Guide: How To Tell A Magpie From A Crow
- Magpies have a black beak, whereas crows have a yellow beak.
- Magpies have red eyes, whereas crows do not.
- Magpies are blackbirds, whereas crows are white birds.
- Crows have black tails, whereas magpies do not.
- Magpies have a red eye ring and a red bill, whereas crows do not.
- Magpies sit on the ground and fly low in the sky; crows sit on the ground and fly high in the sky.
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These two species of bird are similar in appearance, but they are very different in terms of their biology, behavior, and habitat. So, although they both have striking black-and-white coloration and are often confused with one another, a magpie is not a crow, and vice versa. If you’re not sure what species a black and white bird belongs to, it might help to know that blue jays are often confused with magpies due to their similar appearance, carrion crows are commonly confused with American crows, and Eurasian jays are commonly confused with emerald crows due to their similar appearance.