Magpie feasts


We do not have many magpies around Kootenay Lake. This bird favours open country, and most of the lake is rimmed with forests. However, if you know where to look, we do have a few.

Black-billed Magpies have a wide-ranging diet: fruit, grain, insects, small mammals, and bird’s eggs. Unexpectedly, carrion is a particular favourite. Before today, I had never before seen magpies feast upon it.

A Black-billed Magpie flies in. What attracted it?

Quickly, it was evident that the appeal was the decaying carcass of a deer.

It set to work swallowing endless bits and pieces of the carcass.

Occasionally the magpie would fly back into the trees with a mouthful.

“This is good stuff; you should try it.”


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3 Responses to Magpie feasts

  1. birthe says:

    I would never have have thought a magpie would like carrion, but when I looked at its beak and feet I could see that it seemed well built for digging into something like that

  2. Sarah says:

    I live in Moscow Idaho, our town is surrounded by open agricultural lands where magpies are common. But they never, ever, come into town. One winter I put bones from a deer carcass in my yard for my dog to enjoy, and within hours magpies appeared. They eat scraps from the bones and I never saw them again. How on earth did they know to come here and how did they find this feast?

  3. Carlo says:

    Although common, I have found magpies quite difficult to photograph, and have never managed to get a satisfactory shot of one. Your images are superb! As for carrion, no surprise, as many birds, especially corvids, avail themselves of such easy pickings.

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