Eurasian Magpies stand watch over the Irish sunrise

Magpies At Sunrise over County Clare, Ireland

Magpies stand watch over the Irish sunrise, County Clare, Ireland

Eurasian Magpies stand watch over the Irish sunrise in the enchanting County Clare countryside.

These birds, part of the crow family, are recognized for their high level of intelligence and propensity for larcenous behavior. Eurasian magpies not only are considered among the brightest birds on the planet, they’re actually believed to be one of the smartest animals (humans included).

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As the name suggests, these birds have migrated thousands of miles over the years to end up in Ireland. They are believed to have begun their adventure as far away as Asia and North Africa.

Long subjects of local lore and old wives tales, seeing magpies in your surroundings can be good news or bad news depending on the number!

There’s even a nursery rhyme dedicated to the black and white critters:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.

Most days, a flock of five or six are frolicking in my yard, but like leprechauns and faeries, the treasure of silver and gold remains hidden.

Clondegad Celtic Cross, County Clare, Ireland
Afternoon Sun over Markree Castle in County Sligo, Ireland

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