Magpye, or Corvus pica, L. a crafty, and well-known British bird, which is about 18 inches in length, and weighs from eight to nine ounces. It has a black bill, wings, and tail; but the latter are variegated with white, green, purple, and blue of different shades.

Magpies construct their nests with art, making a thorny cover, and leaving a hole at the side for admittance : the female deposits six or seven pale greenish eggs, thickly spotted with black. Similar to the crow, this bird feeds indiscriminately on both animal and vegetable substances ; and, like the raven, it steals shining objects, such as buttons, knives, coins, and precious stones; which it carefully conceals in its nest.—Magpies not only destroy young ducks and chickens, but suck and empty the eggs in a hen's nest. When reared from nestlings, they become exceedingly familiar, and learn to talk many sentences, as well as to imitate every noise Within hear-ing.—For the best method of taking them, we refer to the article Crow.