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Versailles magpie lives up to thieving reputation

Lumberjack working at château discovers more than 1,000 coins in a single nest

Magpies have a generally unjustified reputation for being attracted to and stealing shiny objects - but one French bird certainly lives up to the legend.

A lumberjack working at the Château de Versailles was understandably amazed to discover a real treasure trove in the thieving magpie's nest - more than 1,000 coins.

The worker told Le Parisien that he counted 1,113 coins - of every denomination from cents to euros - but said he had not calculated the total sum of money the kleptomaniac bird had taken.

While magpies are famed for their tendency to try to steal shiny objects that catch their eye, "they are not particularly attracted to shiny objects, unlike a persistent myth," Kim Dallet of the League for the Protection of Birds, told the newspaper.

A few months ago, a gardener at Versailles discovered five franc coin dating back to 1854 and bearing the image of Louis-Philippe in a mole's hole.

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