The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
In light of the Black-billed Magpie’s adaptability and hardiness, ornithologists have wondered why the species isn’t more widely distributed. Climate and geography seem to play a role: basically, the bird likes places in the West that are cold, but not too cold. And across much of the bird’s range, there seems to be a very broad correlation with ecosystems that have a sagebrush component. Audubon’s climate model forecasts withdrawal from the current summer range, with only 14% remaining stable and an overall decrease in summer area. But it also depicts suitable climate space north and east of where the species occurs today, especially in winter. If those regions become warmer, as is widely predicted to happen, then Black-billed Magpies, resourceful and capable of dispersal, may well become established in new suitable area.