The YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE is a common but local resident of oak savanna and riparian stretches in the Central Valley of California, and locally in various oak savanna valleys to the west of the Central Valley. It is a California endemic species and has been much studied at Hasting reserve in Monterey County [see an introduction in the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Monterey County by Roberson & Tenney, eds. (1993)]. Although doing well in suburbs around Sacramento it has met signficant declines in Monterey County with spreading urbanization
All my California records have been of birds within their usual range. I was familiar with this bird in the Central Valley as a child so my "state bird" does not have a specific date. Various observations of populations now extirpated are listed below, and I'll add any vagrants should I encounter them:
8/29/79 Pt. Pinos & 11/7/79 Pacific Grove MTY these were the last observations of the small Pacific Grove population that once bred in oaks at 17 Mile Drive & SinexSee the family page for county abbreviations. All photos & text © 2001 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
1/1/80 Cole Rd.SBT, just barely outside MTY 8 birds on Christmas count in my territory that year; this population is now extirpated
5/26/88 San Francisquito Flat MTY 1; this population later apparently extirpated by development of Rancho San Carlos
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