Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Jorgensen, J.G. 2016. Status review of the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) in Nebraska. Nongame Bird Program of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska.


The Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) is a conspicuous and easily-identifiable member of the corvid family (Corvidae) that inhabits open country. In Nebraska, Black-billed Magpies have apparently declined in recent years and are now no longer found in many areas of their former range (Mollhoff 2013). I conducted a literature and data review of existing resources and, here, I summarize the status of the Black-billed Magpie over time, with emphasis on changes in distribution and abundance over time. The document is focused on Nebraska, but some information and analyses from nearby states is included to provide a broader context. I also summarize information on possible causes of recent Black-billed Magpies declines in Nebraska and the Great Plains. Finally, I make conclusions about the species’ status and provide recommendations about future management, monitoring and research.