What does it mean when you see 15 magpie's together

Here's a version of "One for Sorrow," a traditional children's nursery rhyme about magpies, that goes up to 16:

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret never to be told

Eight for a wish

Nine for a kiss

Ten a surprise you should be careful not to miss

Eleven for health

Twelve for wealth

Thirteen beware it's the devil himself.

Fourteen for Wine

Fifteen for Time

Sixteen for the old speckled hen where it all starts again.

Magpie is most associated with bird superstitions. Throughout Britain it is thought to be unlucky to see a lone magpie and there are a number of beliefs about what you should do to prevent bad luck.

As per British Bird Lóvers, in most parts of the UK people will salute a single magpie and say “Good morning Mr Magpie. How is your lady wife today?” By acknowledging the magpie in this way you are showing him proper respect in the hope that he will not pass bad fortune on to you. By referring to the magpie's wife you are also implying that there are two magpies, which bring joy rather than sorrow according to the popular rhyme.

In Yorkshire magpies are associated with witchcraft and you should make a sign of the cross to ward off evil.

In Scotland a single magpie seen near the window of a house is a sign of impending death, possibly because magpies are believed to carry a drop of the devil’s blood on their tongues or in another legend because magpies were the only bird that didn’t sing or comfort Jesus when he was crucified.

Other things you can do to prevent the bad luck a lone magpie may bring include doffing your hat, spitting three times over your shoulder or even flapping your arms like wings and cawing to imitate the magpie's missing mate.

Check out some British Superstitions compiled by Project Britain.

Tags: magpiefamilies 

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