Welcome! This site is for students to practice their English and keep up to date with environmental issues.

You can find a mixture of reading, crosswords, videos and short English lessons: these will normally be vocabulary, but I may also treat you to some grammar!

There are now over 260 lessons on this blog. Look through the Blog archive, Post labels and Popular Posts to find what you want.

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''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

''... to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed''
P.M. Roget, lexicographer, 1779-1869

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The truth about magpies

Level: Upper-intermediate B2

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

Magpies have a bad reputation for stealing and killing other birds. But is it true?

Here is an interesting article about magpies from the BBC Earth webpage.
Read the article and then answer the following questions:

1) What is Pica pica?
2) Where does the magpies reputation of stealing come from?
3) True or false: magpies eat eggs and small birds.
4) What happened to the magpie population in Britain between 1966 and 1986?
5) According to the article, are magpies thieves?

Answers below!


1) Eurasian magpie
2) A French play (and then an Italian opera)
3) True
4) It increased steadily by about 5% per year
5) No

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