As regular readers will know, I’m quite fond of crows, so it should come as no surprise that I’m also fond of Black-Billed Magpies, a close relative of the crow. Unfortunately, I’ve had very little luck getting shots of them when I’ve been in Colorado or eastern Washington.

I was luckier this time, probably because I knew where to look for them since I’d found one of their nests in a previous visit and read that they tend to return to the same nest year after year.

I’m pretty sure this is the best shot I’d gotten of a Magpie so far,

Magpie on Fence

though I just missed an even better shot when the bird took off, but unfortunately it was so fast that the head was cut off. The blue feathers were beautiful in flight, though.

As it so often turns out after you’ve gotten a shot you’re happy with, you get another shot you like equally. That happened when we went to a reservoir in Denver the next day and I spotted this Magpie who wasn’t nearly as shy:

Black-Billed Magpie

It was looking at this shot that I realized just how impressive a Magpie’s tail is, something I really had noticed before. This one spent most of the time I was observing him walking through the grass scavenging for food, so I didn’t get a chance to get a picture of it in flight.