To see a single Magpie is considered unlucky, so you may hear people greeting the bird with 'Hello Mr Magpie. How/Where is your wife?'
Magpies are often seen as sneaky due to their penchant for shiny objects, such as jewellery and coins, their lack of a pretty singing voice, and their habit of eating the eggs from bird nests.
In Scotland they're considered a sign of impending death, but in China spotting one is regarded as good luck. Generally they're not all bad though, only when alone: The old rhyme goes: '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.'