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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Pica pica
Magpie © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: green
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid increase
UK population size
650,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
The remarkable adaptability of Magpies has enabled them to colonise many new urban and suburban localities since the 1960s. Magpies increased steadily until the late 1980s, when abundance stabilised (Gregory & Marchant 1996). Minor decrease has been recorded in the UK during the last five years. The declines in nest failure rates, during both the egg and the chick stages, have been substantial, perhaps as human persecution of nests has diminished. Larsen traps, introduced in the UK in the late 1980s, are now widely used by gamekeepers as a control measure. Clutch sizes, however, have decreased. A strong trend towards earlier laying has also been identified and may be partly explained by recent climate change (Crick & Sparks 1999).

Population changes

CBC/BBS UK graph
BBS acknowledgement
CBC/BBS England graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
BBS Wales graph
BBS N Ireland graph

Productivity trends

Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph



Insufficient data on CES
available for this species


Additional information

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Crick, H.Q.P., Noble, D.G., Balmer, D.E., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2006)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2005.
BTO Research Report No. 435. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 11 November, 2008