Is Your Magpie a Male or a Female?

Generally, telling the sex of an adult magpie is often quite easy. The distinguishing feature lies in the white hood on the back of their heads and necks. Female magpies tend to be greyer at the lower end of the hood, while adult male magpies will have very white hoods right to the bottom.

Here are some pictures of Vicky (female) on the left and Maggie (male) on the right


One has to then observe their necks when its bent down to spot the greys.

From a distance when their heads are up, a female can be mistaken for a male bird.


In some older female magpies, the grey on their necks tend to fade becoming quite white over the years. Females also tend to be smaller in size or more timid at the start of a friendship than the males.

 The hoods of juvenile magpies tend to be fuzzier and brown-beige almost all over that slowly change to clearer colours as they reach adulthood. The females tend to have darker shades of brown in their hoods, while the males are lighter coloured.

Here is a picture of Sparky (female) and Billy (male) when they were both around one year old:

Juvenile Female
Juvenile Male


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