See a Bird Pluck Fur From a Capybara to Make a Nest and It Is Happy to Oblige

Lunch time for Australian Magpie
© Glanzpunkt/

Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 24, 2023

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We know that capybaras have a reputation for being laid back but the individual in this clip is taking it to a whole new level! The lovable rodent is lying on its side and then on its back allowing a cheeky magpie to help itself to its fur. The capybara is perfectly happy to allow the bird to pluck its fur and seems to be enjoying the experience! Meanwhile, the magpie is gaining a valuable resource to line its nest. Scroll down to see the full extraordinary footage of some unlikely friends in a UK zoo farm.

Where Do Capybaras Normally Live?

Capybaras are not a native species of the UK so this magpie got lucky by discovering this zoo farm. Their scientific name is Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and they are a resident of South America. Their natural range stretches from Brazil through Uruguay, Venezuela, and Colombia. Then it ranges south into Argentina and west to the Andes.

In terms of habitat, they are always found near water. So, they have a preference for flooded grasslands and the edges of marshes. You also find them in lowland forests and any other location where the grazing is good and there is plenty of water throughout the year.

Capybaras have evolved to adopt an amphibious lifestyle. Between their toes, they have webbed skin and they are excellent swimmers. Also, if you look at them closely you can see that their eyes, ears, and nostrils are at the top of their heads so that they can see, smell, and hear what is going on when they are partially submerged in water. 


Capybaras have a reputation for being easy-going.

©Henner Damke/

Why Are Magpies Special Birds?

However you feel about magpies, there’s no denying that they are a very special bird species. Their scientific name is Pica pica and they are a member of the Corvidae family of birds. The bird in this clip was living in the United Kingdom but magpies are also found in other parts of Europe as well as in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Oceania.

They have a distinctive black-and-white coloring and can live for up to 30 years!

These birds are brilliant mimics and can even pronounce some human words. They are also very curious about humans and like to hang around in urban and suburban areas. Magpies live in groups of up to 50 birds which are called a tribe or a tiding. They build large, domed nests that are usually in thorny bushes or tall trees. As we can see from this clip, they like to get something soft to line it with and capybaras are a great help!

Watch the Unique Clip Below

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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