The azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) is a bird in the crow family and has the overall shape of a European Magpie, but it is a bit more slender and has a proportionally smaller bill and legs. The most striking features of these beautiful birds are their black caps and azure blue feathers. In Europe these birds only live in the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, which is quite a small area. What's amazing, though, is that another population of Azure-winged Magpies live more than 5,000 miles away, in eastern Asia. Recent genetic evidence points to two separate species, one European and one Asian. The two populations may have been separated by the onset of the Quaternary ices, much like the populations of Iberian Lynx and Iberian Imperial Eagle. As it grew colder the European populations of Azure-winged Magpies would have been pushed into and trapped in Iberia.
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