This is a black and white Eurasian magpie (pica pica). The photo is taken south of Uppsala along the Fyris River. Magpies are birds of the corvidae (crow) family and it is a common bird found throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa. In Sweden there are between 300,000 and 700,000 pairs and it is found from Skåne in the south to Lapland in the North.
It is not easy to come close to a magpie. It is very vigilant and usually flies away as soon as you stop. To take a good photo of magpie is a bit of challenge also in other ways. Its black and white colours mean that you risk that part of the bird is either under-exposed or over-exposed, its plumage is not shimmering in blue and green could not be seen from all angles and very often you have distracting branches, blades of grass etc. in front of and behind the bird.
A well-known Swedish faiy tale is about a little boy that was told by an old wise man that if he could pour a pinch of salt on the tail of a magpie, the bird had to fulfill his desires, but only as long as the salt remained of the bird's tail. The fairy tale captures precisely how teasing a magpie could be. It was included in a fairy tale collection, Länge, länge sedan… by Anna Wahlenberg issued in 1903 and with illustration by well-known Swedish painter and illustrator John Bauer.
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ikeharel (74775) 2013-12-27 6:50
An impressive set of colors, this bird has, Ulf.
Magnificent pic. shown, in great clarity over the blured(perfectly done) background.
Superb photojob rendered.
Have a nice holiday-weekend,
saxo042 (37908) 2013-12-27 7:17
Här har du verkligen lyckats få fram alla fina färgnyanser på denna skata. Detta är ju egentligen en mycket vacker fågel! En mycket skarp och vältagen bild, skatan utgör en bra diagonal i bilden.
God Fortsättning och Gott Nytt År
holmertz (56159) 2013-12-27 8:53
Vlken jättefin skatbild. Den är ju verkligen perfekt fångad i profil med de metallic-skimrande gröna och blå fjädrarna väl synliga. Bakgrunden är också utmärkt. Du banar väg för välförtjänt beröm med beskrivningen av hur svårt det är att lura denna smarta fågel.
God fortsättning och Gott nytt år.
bukitgolfb301 (43594) 2013-12-27 17:50
Hi dear Ulf, how are you recently?
Sorry for my late reaction as I was so busy last week.
Outstandingly sharp and clear nature image for this cuty small bird in the perfect tight framework as usdual. Natural abut very vivid color presentation is marvelous indeed!
Thank you for your sharing and have a good weekend!
Takero from cold Tokyo
fabbs99 (17175) 2013-12-27 18:31
The Eurasian Magpie looks highly impressive in this close-up shot. Fine composition, lovely true colors, good light and, as always, stunning details and sharpness. TFS.
maloutim (9639) 2014-01-10 16:22
Well, you managed this capture really well, with no overexposure or underexposure. Great management of the different colors, and good composition against the blurred background !
I once witnessed a sad happening in Solna. As I was sitting, writing in front of the French window of the apartment, I heard a racket outside, and saw a magpie attack a young blackbird. I opened the window and made the magpie go away, but it was too late. The blackbird was dying, and I buried him in the flower-bed. It certainly didn't make my day :-(
TFS and have a good weekend.