Black-billed Magpie Pica hudsonia


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable and it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Trend justification
This species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).


This species inhabits a tremendous variety of open country, preferably with at least scattered trees (Madge 2009). It is evenly distributed in urban, rural and natural landscapes and frequents parks, gardens, most farmland, heaths, freshwater, wetland, dunes, woodland and forest fringes (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). The nest is built by both sexes although the female does the majority of construction. It is made from sticks and twigs, with a side entrance protected by thorny twigs. A deep cup is thickly lined with soft materials such as wool, animal fur, soft grasses and feathers, usually placed at variable height in crown of tall tree; normally a fresh nest built each year, although in some cases an old nest may be repaired. It is omnivorous but principally a carnivorous scavenger. The diet varies according to local habitats, but generally consists of invertebrates, small mammals and lizards, frogs, bird eggs and nestlings, as well as carrion. In addition, various seeds, berries and fruits are taken seasonally. The species is resident (Madge 2009).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Ashpole, J & Wheatley, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pica hudsonia. Downloaded from on 30/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/06/2022.