What is a Group of Magpies Called? Explained In Detail

Group of Magpies Called

Magpies are birds that belong to the Corvidae family. These are flexible and highly adaptable birds.

These birds are of the typical black and white color and these birds are native to Asia, Eurasia, Oceania, and Africa. These birds generally eat insects, seeds, nuts, and fruits.

However, do you know what is a group of magpies called? And How do They Behave? 

So In this article, I’ll explain all the facts related to magpies in detail. 

What Is A Group of Magpies Called?

For addressing the group of magpies, many collective nouns are used. The most common nouns include conventicle, charm, a tribe of magpies, and mischief.

However, sometimes their group is also referred to as a murderer and a parliament. 

The other terms that are used for a group of magpies include A charm of magpies, A gulp of magpies, a flock of magpies, a congregation of magpies, a band of magpies, the mischief of magpies, a murder of magpies, a tribe of magpies, a tittering of magpies, and a tiding of magpies. 

Do Magpies flock in groups? 

The flocking and social behaviors of the magpies vary widely among the four general of the Corvidae family.

The Eurasian magpie is generally solitary when mated. Single magpies tend to form flocks during the breeding season.

These birds are usually seen together while feeding. However, the flocks of magpies are generally small and it is around 10 to 20 birds. 

In North America, the Black-billed magpies are highly found and these birds form larger flocks and it is especially true outside the breeding season.

Usually, these birds form a complex social hierarchy in their flocks.

However, the most social magpie is the Yellow-billed magpie which is known to form a large communal roost in winters. These birds often forage together. 

When it comes to the Taiwan blue magpies, these birds form close-knit groups of 3 to 12 birds. The magpies do migrate and they usually fly together in a line formation. 

Why Is a Group of Magpies referred to as Mischief?

The magpies got the tag of mischief because of their dancing, prancing, stealing food, cackling maniacally, and causing a disruption to other birds.

It is a longstanding myth that these birds used to steal shiny objects which also includes jewelry. They take these objects to the treasure that they have hidden in nearby places.

However, as per recent studies, it is observed that there is no affinity between the magpies and the shiny objects. 

Even one study found that magpies are cautious around shiny objects and they don’t get attracted to such objects.

But some people argue that this is a sign of some level of interest in these birds in shiny objects. These birds raid other birds’ nests and eat eggs and attack nestlings.

Magpies can also gang up on birds and animals. This is called mobbing and it can be brutal and merciless. 

When Do Magpies flock Together?

Most of the magpies’ species stay isolated throughout the breeding season. These types are generally monogamous and they form strong & permanent pair bonds that last for their entire life.

During the breeding season, these pairs work together in isolation from other birds. But they still come together with each other to feed.  

However, there is an exception that is related to non-breeding birds. The young magpies often join flocks and they stay in that group until they form mated pairs.

Some magpie species like the Yellow-Billed Magpie roost communally over winter. 

Why do magpies flocks together? 

In the non-breeding season, magpies flock together to both roost and feed. In addition, to which, the magpies flock together in juvenile groups to find their mates.

A big group of magpies congregates to resolve the social standing and form territories. Some people also described that many magpies gather around the corpse of another to sing in unison.

While other people believe that these attendees bring offerings of blades of grass and other objects. 

These funeral events are even scientifically documented but the true motive behind this is unknown.

Some people argue that they express their emotional grief while others believe that it is a sort of life lesson. 

How many magpies are there in a flock?

The flock of magpies is generally small and it rarely numbers more than some 24 birds.

However, during the winter season, hundreds of birds roost together but it is rare to see such a large number of magpies together in one place. 

Do magpies’ families stay together?

The magpies’ familiar behavior is not very complex. Their chicks usually fledge after a month but some remain dependent on their parents for more several weeks.

They then join a juvenile flock at the end of the year which means during winters. However, this may vary as per the magpie species.

In Taiwan’s blue magpie species, the children of the mated pairs stay with their parents and help them to rear their future siblings. 

How many magpies stay together?

In the upper Northern Hemisphere, most of the magpie species are thought to roost communally. Some magpies roost in a number of 10 to 20 birds.

But it may reach the number of 100 to 200 as per the other species. These birds usually roost in wooded areas or forested areas. 

What is the Symbolism of a group of Magpies?

The symbolism of magpies can be easily in human culture and folklore. One of the famous examples of its symbolism can be seen in the nursery rhyme One for Sorrow.

As per the ancient Rome culture, these birds are highly associated with fortune-telling and they are linked to both good and bad witchcraft.

While as per European culture, these birds are highly related to bad luck, sorrow, death, and deceit. 

As per the beliefs of Christianity, the reputation of these birds are bad in the Bible. These birds allegedly didn’t sing for Jesus.

While in China, these birds are considered good luck. Magpies are considered powerful and knowledgeable birds as per the beliefs of Pagan culture.

These birds are capable of abstract thought and they can even interact with their reflections. 


Magpies are black and white birds native to various continents. However, many people don’t know why these birds flock together and how their group is addressed.

Overall, the group of magpies is known as a flock of magpies and other collective nouns can be used. 

At last, I hope this article may have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!

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