Pica Pica

Contemporary Eclecticism


Eurasian Magpie

The Eurasian Magpie, or Common Magpie (Pica Pica) is a resident bird throughout Europe, Asia and northwest Africa. It belongs to the crow family. Its name comes from magot pie (pied Margot), first mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The Eurasian Magpie is one of the most intelligent birds, and it is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all animals.  They engage themselves in elaborate social rituals, possibly including the expression of grief. They cut up their food in correctly sized proportions, depending on the size of their young. In the wild, magpies organize themselves into gangs, and use complex strategies when hunting other birds.

Magpies are known for picking up shiny items, as Rossini's opera La Gazza Ladra reminds us.  Due to this habit, they are viewed as an omen of ill fortune.  The proverb "a single magpie in spring, foul weather will bring" mirrors the bird’s habit to forage together only when the weather is fine.  In Britain, seeing magpies is believed to predict the future.  The famous "one for sorrow" rhyme refers to the bird. One magpie may bring bad luck but two refer to spring.  Katerina Psoma jewellery pieces are like little treasures stolen by a maggie.