Magpies are closely related to crows, jays and ravens. They have a reputation for being troublemakers, and are supposedly attracted to shiny things (although there is no actual evidence for this). When seen up close the magpie's black plumage reveals itself to be an iridescent sheen of purples, blues and greens. You can find magpies all year round in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some parts of Scotland.
‘How to Salute a Magpie’ from the album Bleakscapes, by Jon Day. Buy it at https://thedeptofphantomlimbs.bandcamp.com/album/bleakscapes.
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