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.