Illustration from National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Pica pica hudsonia
Subspecies of Magpie
September 16, 1804, near site of present-day Chamberlain, South Dakota.
Large black-and-white bird with long tail and dark bill. Bill, head, breast, and underparts black, with green iridescence on wings and tail. White belly and shoulders; white primaries conspicuous as white wing patches in flight. Length: 17.5-22 in (44-56 cm).
A rapid, nasal mag? mag? mag? or yak yak yak.
Open woodlands, savannas, brush-covered country, streamside growth.
Resident from Alaska and western Canada south to east-central California and east to Great Plains.
Four live magpies were sent to President Jefferson in the shipment from Fort Mandan in April 1805.