Dictionary » M » Magpie



(Science: zoology) Any one of numerous species of the genus pica and related genera, allied to the jays, but having a long graduated tail.

The common European magpie (pica pica, or P. Caudata) is a black and white noisy and mischievous bird. It can be taught to speak. The American magpie (P. Hudsonica) is very similar. The yellow-belled magpie (P. Nuttalli) inhabits California. The blue magpie (Cyanopolius Cooki) inhabits Spain. Other allied species are found in asia. The tasmanian and Australian magpies are crow shrikes, as the white magpie (Gymnorhina organicum), the black magpie (Strepera fuliginosa), and the Australian magpie (Cracticus picatus).

(Science: zoology) magpie lark, a black and white European geometrid moth (Abraxas grossulariata); the harlequin moth. Its larva feeds on currant and gooseberry bushes.

Origin: oe. & Prov. E. Magot pie, maggoty pie, fr. Mag, maggot, equiv. To Margaret, and fr. F. Marquerite, and common Name of the magpie. Marguerite is fr. L. Margarita pearl, gr, prob. Of Eastern origin. See pie magpie, and cf. The analogous names tomtit, and jackdaw.

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