Azure-winged Magpies

Can someone tell me, is it possible that I have had two Azure-winged Magpies, in my garden in Hampshire this morning?  If not, what might they be please?  They were beautiful birds, a cat  asleep in garden, stopped them coming down, just sat in tree, camera not too hand, as usual!!

  • Hi ethelburger and welcome to the forum.

    Nigh on impossible I'd say. They are confined to southern Spain and Portugal. This is an Azure-winged Magpie.

    Not sure what to suggest. Could they have been Jays?



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  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Even our own Magpie can be colourful in the right light.

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    Checkout the forums' Community HOMEPAGE for lots of interesting posts from other members.

  • hi ,just seen your  message ,my husband and I saw an azure winged magpie in near cader ridris ( dollgelau ) when we were staying in a cottage there late oct last year . we saw it  serveral times getting food we had put out but were not able to get a photo . so had no proof . it is a very distinctive bird and could not have been anything else . we were told it may have escaped from a collection ? but it was lovely to see ,just wish we had proof.

  • In reply to lemondog2:

    As a wild bird ths seems pretty doubtful,going back through BTO  and other lists there does not seem to be any records.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Suppose we will have to wait for Ethelburger to reply for confirmation now.  

    If it's not outdoors it's not worth watching.

  • In reply to Snowman:

    I'd be very surprised! There a number of collections in the UK that have them (and I have 2 in an aviary in my garden) but I've never heard of any escaping or there being a wild population of them anywhere. Do try to get photos if the mystery birds come back!

    A closed mouth gathers no foot.

  • We saw an azure winged magpie here in Newton abbot, was definitely not a Jay and identical to the photo of the azure winged magpie. I have also seen a Newton abbot sighting posted on another site. The distinctive azure blue wing was what caught our eye against the green of the tree.

  • In reply to Yertiz:

    According to Birdguides there has been 6 sightings of Azure Winged Magpies in the UK ('05,'06 and '07) all of which were presumed to be escaped birds nor wild ones.This bird may be another escapee.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Last Wednesday my daughter alerted my wife to a strange bird in the garden, I could hear my  daughter who is in her late 30’s telling my wife she had never seen a bird like this one, my wife went to the window and shouted to me to look out of my office window which is upstairs.

    Whilst I was watching the bird it flew across the garden and settled on the fence below my window. I was 20 feet away from the bird l and had an interrupted view of it, my first impression was this is a magpie but the colours were all wrong.  The most striking feature of the bird was the long light blue tail and the light blue colouring along its wing, it had a sandy coloured body and a black head.

    After looking through the a reference book I have I was, and am, in no doubt whatsoever that the bird I saw was an Azure –winged magpie, it certainly was not a Jay, as the jay’s tail is not blue neither is the Jay’s tail long enough. I could clearly see the markings on the bird as it sat on the fence and then as is flew off

    Both my wife and Daughter identified the bird as Azure –winged magpie; the bird was seen in Buckinghamshire.

  • In reply to hobbs:

    Hello Hobbs and welcome to the forum.

    Your description does sound good for an Azure-winged Magpie. However, as you probably know they don't naturally occur in the UK and in Europe can only be seen in the wild in Spain and Portugal. If it indeed it was one it was almost certainly an escape from a collection.

    They are somewhat smaller than our Common Magpie although the tail is very long. Here's a photo of one I saw in the Coto Donana National Park in Spain. Sparrow in the background for a size comparison. Does that accord with what you saw?

     Are there any places locally which have bird collections? Keep a camera handy in case it comes back.



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