The Magpie — Devil or Deity

From Istock Getty Images

Reputation

There is another unconvicted avian murderer — the cuckoo

Without a proper understanding of how the world worked our ancestors would try and explain mysterious events by linking them to supernatural causes.

Regional variations

Agriculture has done more harm to ground-nesting birds such as the lapwing, grey partridge, linnet and corn bunting than any mob of magpies

Death and thievery

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Adrian Arnold

Retired veterinary surgeon now a collector of trivia. Married to a wonderful wife, four children and four grandchildren. Author of A Veterinary Life on Amazon.