Since coming back from California, I’ve seen a lot of Black Billed Magpies around. They seem to be circling my yard. And out on the road, they seem to be bolder than ever, swooping down where there’s road kill. Cars go around them because (considerate) drivers don’t want them to be the next road kill.
When I moved to Calgary, someone told me that magpies are like vultures. They appear when something is dead. In other words, they are scavengers and they eat dead things like dead rats, gophers, mice, birds (ie. roadkill).
I see them waiting at street corners so that when the coast is clear, they fly in and eat. When a car gets near, they hop around instead of getting out of the way. They are quite the pedestrian.
And as scavengers, they help clean up the roads and our yards. Without them, we would have carcasses all over the place. Magpies, keep up the good work!