Dec 12th by Ian under Bird Watching

I have now stayed around Perth for 34 years, in that time the Magpie population has increased hugely where they were resident, Glasgow, Dundee etc. I used to see an odd magpie flying across the M90 motorway at Kelty 30 years ago, it is the same today. Now here's the point, why are there no magpies in Perth making a success of town living as other populations do? I am sure people may know of an odd pair in the outskirts, but I have never seen a magpie in Perth. As a boy magpies around Eaglesham were rare country birds viewed as exotic. In Eaglesham they are now common, nesting in gardens sometimes to the chagrin of home owners and garden birds. So are they so sedentary that they only expand to large numbers in their local habitat and don't seek to spread by geographical leaps? do we have country magpies and town magpies with the latter more successful, like foxes, on the debris of humanity? Where is the evolutionary advantage in not spreading in geographical leaps? I welcome comments

9 Responses to “Magpies”

  1. Ian December 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Spotted a magpie at Kinross from the M90, getting nearer to Perth!

  2. ThePath January 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    It is quite amazing. Having spent my whole life in the tay valley I have seen 2 magpies here in 27 years.

    I find that amazing! That such an intelligent, well evolved and successful bird is rare in certain areas!

    Perhaps magpies require biodiversity corridors to progress to different areas. In this case the corridors would be more urban areas as this seems to be the environment where they thrive!

    So maybe there is not sufficient urban areas linking central Scotland with more Northern areas.

    I would like everyone reading this post to add their own sightings. Very interesting topic.

  3. Ian April 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I think I can answer my own question, the evolutionary advantage is being linked to a family, the bond to the family is greater than the impulse to move far (from that family) so if the pathway to another area for expansion does not exist the magpies wont migrate as individuals, and I cant foresee a mechanism where the greater part of a family group migrate.

  4. January 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    DEC 2014

    • February 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      I saw my first Magpie in Dundee last year 2015, but then two weeks ago I saw two of them at Newton Road/Harestane Road near Trottick, I just hope they are going to settle here as I have lived in Dundee since 1961 and have never seen them here before.

  5. Ian September 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    20/9/2015 saw a magpie fly across Glenearn road, it looked very much “at home” landing on a nearby roof, tail flicking.

  6. October 22, 2015 at 9:58 am

    yesterday 21/10/15, spotted a single magpie at Craigend, Perth

  7. May 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I saw magpie fintryside dundee 10/5/2016

  8. May 3, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Plenty magpies in perth now.

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