“So…what is a magpie?”

The short answer is, “A bird.” The much more interesting answer is that the magpie is a bird that holds a special place in Chinese folklore involving romance and a weaving maiden.

It is said that on one day out of the year—Chinese Valentine’s Day—flocks of magpies build a bridge across the sky, allowing a heavenly weaving maiden to cross a river of stars and be reunited with her beloved husband.

The beauty and romance of this story have stayed with me ever since hearing it as a little girl in Taiwan, which just happens to be home to the blue magpie.

Photography by Suthi Picotte