Pics of Red breasted Magpie taken this morning

  • Hi Lesley,   it's a difficult one to answer as at first I thought either the magpie had been bathing in something like an ochre dyke (especially if you live near Sheffield ! ) or it had been injured and it was blood that had spread on the plumage as I've seen some vicious attacks amongst magpies,   however I believe there is an abnormality in birds called  erythrism  which can show up as red/pinkish although this is very rare.   It has been seen in magpies before.     So, to be honest, I can't give a categorical answer but  hopefully somebody more knowledgeable on this forum can give their opinions.    My guess would be Erythrism. 

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Thank you, we don’t live near any dye works .... we are in Great Budworth, Cheshire, a village full of jackdaws in the main - not that many magpies. My only concern is that this one might be subject to attack as it looks so different - although we haven’t any evidence of this so far ...
  • Hi Lesley, I know Great Budworth well and also live in Cheshire. A lot of nice areas to see birds around there including Marbury Country Park/Northwich woods. Hope you see the magpie again and can take a closer look; if it turns out it isn't injured and may have a plumage variation like erythrism it may be worth following Alan's link on your other post and reporting it to the British Trust for Ornithology. .

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • I saw what appeared to be a bright red-breasted magpie as such on the side of the M2 just outside Belfast this afternoon. Just a glimpse as passing quickly, I had reasoned it must have been injured/soaked in blood, but that’s not how it looked to me.