Iberian Magpie

Azure-winged Magpie, Blauwe Ekster, Blau Elster, Pega-azul, Rabilargo

Spotted on our property Monte Horizonte in the Alentejo region of Portugal.               Iberian Magpie sound

The Iberian Magpie (Cyanopica cyana) is a bird in the crow family. It is 31-35 cm long and similar in overall shape to the European Magpie (Pica pica) but is more slender with proportionately smaller legs and bill.

Iberian Magpie, Blauwe Ekster, Blau Elster, Pega-azul, Rabilargo

It has a glossy black top to the head and a white throat. The underparts and the back are a light grey-fawn in colour with the wings and the feathers of the long (16-20 cm) tail are an azure blue. It inhabits various types of coniferous (mainly pine) and broadleaf forest, including parks and gardens in the eastern populations.

The population lives in Western Europe, specifically the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain and Portugal. 

Often Iberian Magpies find food as a family group or several groups making flocks of up to 30 birds, and their diet consists mainly of acorns (oak seeds) and pine nuts, extensively supplemented by invertebrates and their larvae, soft fruits and berries, and also human-provided scraps in parks and towns.

This species usually nests in loose, open colonies with a single nest in each tree. There are usually between 6–8 eggs that are incubated for 15 days.

The voice is a quick fired and metallic sounding kwink-kwink-kwink usually preceded by a single “krarrah”.

Other Synonyms:

Catalan: Garsa blava
Czech: straka modrá
Danish: Blåskade
German: Blauelster
English: Iberian Magpie, Azure-winged Magpie
Spanish: Rabilargo, Urraca de Rabo Largo
Estonian: siniharakas
Basque: Mika urdina
Finnish: Siniharakka
French: Pie bleue
Galician: Pega azul
Icelandic: Bláskjór
Italian: Gazza aliazzurre
Japanese: onaga
Latin: Cyanopica cyana, Cyanopica cyana cyana, Cyanopica cyana cyanus, Cyanopica cyanus, Cyanopica cyanus cyanus, Cyanopolius cyanus
Dutch: Blauwe Ekster
Norwegian: Blåskjære
Polish: sroka blekitna
Portuguese: Pega azul, Pega-azul
Slovak: Straka belasá
Slovenian: modra sraka
Swedish: Blåskata


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip.

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Guided Birdwatching in the Alentejo region of Portugal