The magpie is 45 centimetres long and is black and white with a long tail and strong bill. There are blueish, greenish or violet metallic tones in the black of its tail and wings.
The magpie lives around farms and villages, wherever there are a few trees, as well as in urban areas. It can be found throughout Europe.
Vigilant but not timid, the magpie swoops down and patrols lawns and flower beds in the centres of noisy cities in search of worms, insects or food remains. It sometimes eats the eggs and chicks of other birds. It builds roofed stick nests in tree crowns.