David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________ Birds – 176 – Iberian Magpies

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                IBERIAN MAGPIE Cyanopica cooki

 

·         Unlike the Eurasian Magpie Pica pica the Iberian Magpie Cyanopica cooki is a rather reticent bird with a preference for remaining hidden by the cover of tree foliage. As the photographer’s only other sightings of this Iberian endemic species had been failed attempts to photograph them flying past at low level and in poor light he was particularly pleased to have captured this image of one just about to take flight early one morning in Portugal. This species has recently (2004) been separated from the very similar Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana by DNA sequencing. These species have common ancestry but they became geographically separated over a million years ago by glaciation and have since diverged sufficiently from one another for each be considered as a species in its own right.

 

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