Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red-billed blue magpie

Binomial name: Urocissa erythrorhyncha, Pieter Boddaert, 1783

The red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) is a species of bird in the crow family Corvidae. It is about the same size as the European magpie but has a much longer tail, the longest tail of any corvid. It is 65–68 cm (26–27 in) long and weighs 196-232 grams (6.9-8.2 oz).

Description

The head, neck and breast are black with a bluish spotting on the crown. The shoulders and rump are a duller blue and the underparts are a greyish cream. The long tail is a brighter blue (as are the wing primaries) with a broad white tip. The bill is a bright orange-red as are the legs and feet and a ring around the eye. This red can vary across its range to almost yellow in some birds.

Habits and habitat

The red-billed blue magpie occurs in a broad swathe from the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, and further eastwards. It ranges from the Western Himalayas eastwards into Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in evergreen forest and scrub in predominantly hilly or mountainous country. They nest in trees and large shrubs in a relatively shallow nest. There are usually three to five eggs laid.

Food is sought both in trees and on the ground. It takes the usual wide range of food, such as invertebrates, other small animals, and fruit and some seeds. It robs nests of eggs and also chicks. Vocal mimicry is very apparent in this species and its calls are very varied, but the most usual are a grating rattle and a high pitched whistle a little like a flute.

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Videos of Red-billed blue magpie

  • Red-billed blue magpie

    Red-billed blue magpie

  • Red-billed blue magpie nest

    Red-billed blue magpie nest

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Corvidae
Genus
Urocissa
Species
Urocissa erythrorhyncha

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Red-billed blue magpie

Red-billed blue magpie

Copyright 123RF,

Red-billed blue magpie

Red-billed blue magpie

Copyright iStockphoto,

Range map of Urocissa erythrorhyncha in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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