Australian Magpie

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Australian Magpie, Cracticus tibicen, Size 38-44cm. Conspicuous black and white plumage that varies across its range. The nape, upper and under tail and wing bands are white, the remainder of the body is black. Grey/white bill with a black tip, and black legs. The females are duller. Adults have chestnut brown eyes. The immature is paler with a black eye. They live in family groups and have a lovely fluted carolling call.

Feeding habits

Mainly feed on insects found on the ground amongst leaf litter, rocks or fallen logs.


June-December. Nest is made of sticks, plant stems, even wire, lined with wool, hair or grass and is built in the canopy of eucalypts and other suitable trees. The female builds the nest, lays up to six eggs and does the incubation alone. Magpies often attack people during the nesting season.

Places to Look

Open areas with trees close by, golfcourses, woodlands, playing fields, parks and gardens.

Traditional Owners

The Magpie is known as Mundingburra (not confirmed), meaning strong and spirited bird. The Australian Magpie is looked upon as a protector to its people.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page

© NQ Dry Tropics 2015
© NQ Dry Tropics 2015

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