In Irish (and British) folklore, to see a single magpie is bad luck and an only be averted by raising your hat to it or giving it a bow. If you’re too embarrassed to do that, you might hope that a partner magpie comes along quickly.
There are a number of different versions of the well known seven magpies rhyme with some that have ten birds and others that reflect localised superstitions, such as “one for anger, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth”.
The Magpie is a member of the crow family and regarded as mischievous and acquisitive, being unable to resist shiny bright objects. Perhaps their large conical nest are built with a storeroom included!
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