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By Bruce Auchly
FWP Region 4 Information Officer 

Montana Tales and Trails

The magpie's colors

 

January 10, 2020

FWP photo

Black-billed magpie

Some of the hardest questions to answer start with why.

Why will fish bite one day and not the next, or even stop biting when they were having a feeding frenzy a minute ago?

Why did prehistoric people use a particular cliff face to draw a petroglyph?

Why can't I win the lottery? Okay, scratch that.

Just the other day, an acquaintance asked why magpies are black and white. First, magpies are not just black and white. Their colors include shades of gray, green and blue. In the right light there is a beautiful iridescent sheen to their dark feathers. If the question is why do magpies look blac...



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