Magpie – Snag Breac
Although the average lifespan of magpies is five years, the longest lived specimen was 21 years, 8 months, and 23 days old when it died in 1947. With distinctive black & white plumage and raucous nature magpies cannot be confused with any other Irish bird. The magpie is Ireland’s best-known member of the crow family.
Although the plumage looks black and white in actual fact the black feathers are purple-blue iridescent sheen on the wing feathers, and there is a green gloss to the tail. Magpies use their long black legs to walk and quite often to hop along the ground. It is believed that magpies were first recorded in Wexford in 1676 when up to a dozen flew across the Irish sea from Britain. Breeding in Dublin was first noted in 1852.
Although the average lifespan of magpies is five years, the longest-lived specimen was 21 years, 8 months, and 23 days old when it died in 1947. We all know the rhyme “One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.”