Common Green Magpie

Common Green Magpie
Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis, Yunnan, China (21.626928, 101.587640), elev. 730 m (2,410 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis occurs in disjunct populations from foothills of Himalayas in India to Greater Sundas. Range just touches China, with cissa in extreme western and southern Yunnan and southwest Guangxi. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Tropical and subtropical broadleaved forests, also secondary forests, to 2000 m (6,560 ft.). Mainly carnivorous, taking all sorts of invertebrates and raiding birds’ and lizards’ nests for eggs and nestlings. Sometimes in mixed flocks with laughingthrushes and drongos. ID & COMPARISON Very similar to Indochinese Green Magpie C. hypoleuca. Large, vivid-green, shy but noisy; commonly heard before seen. Has black mask extending from loral area to nape, chestnut wings, and black-and-white tip to long tail. Rest of plumage completely bright green. When worn, green plumage may bleach to light bluish. Hindcrown shows slight shaggy crest. Wings have white and black tips to secondaries and tertials. Juveniles duller. Indochinese Green Magpie has only pale green tips to tertials, is washed yellow below, and has shorter tail. BARE PARTS Red eye-ring, bill, and feet. VOICE Similar to Indochinese Green Magpie. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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