Native to Australia and New Guinea, these magpies are no relation to the Eurasian magpie (we’ll be covering them later this week). They’re called magpies simply because European settlers would name plants and animals after similar-looking species from Europe.
The Australian magpie has pure black and white plumage, with young magpies distinguished by light grey or brown tones in their plumage. Magpies are one of 5000-odd species considered songbirds.
The species doesn’t have the best reputation as they’re notorious for swooping people that approach their nesting areas during breeding season. Perhaps an Australian magpie tattoo will be seen as a gesture of goodwill and keep you safe from their antics?
Not everyone has such negative interactions with the birds; in fact, magpies can be quiet silly, as you can see in YouTube videos like this.
Updated: March 25, 2020
Updated: April 1, 2021