Species On The Move

As climate change impacts habitats around the world, species are on the move, trying to adapt — and survive.


  • Audubon

About This Species

The Yellow-Billed Magpie is a relative of the crow and stands out because of its distinctive bill. This California native is a social bird. It flocks to the scene of fights or scuffles and roosts communally, gathering in groups of up to 800 outside of breeding season. The Yellow-Billed Magpie lives in an area of California that spans just 500 miles from north to south and 150 miles east to west. Magpies are omnivorous, feeding primarily on a mix of plants and bugs.

This California native's range is disappearing

This California native's range is disappearing. (Photo: Flickr user budgora)

Source: Audubon's Climate Report and Field Guide 

Conservation Status

The Yellow-Billed Magpie's population has suffered thanks to West Nile virus, habitat loss and pesticide use. In some parts of its historical range, the bird has declined or disappeared entirely, likely due to housing development or agriculture.

The Yellow-Billed Magpie's range
Source: Audubon's Climate Report

The Yellow-Billed Magpie

The Yellow-Billed Magpie from John James Audubon's Birds of America series

Looking Forward

A few of the Yellow-Billed Magpie's traits make it particularly susceptible to climate change.  Living in a relatively small, specific habitat means that it could be harder for the bird to adapt. Audubon's climate models project that by 2080, the bird could lose up to 80 percent of its summer range and 100 percent of its winter range. Because Yellow-Billed Magpies prefer to nest in mature oaks, their survival could be dictated by how well the trees respond to climate change.

Source: Audubon's Climate Report and Field Guide

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