Taiwan Blue Magpie

Taiwan Blue Magpie
Perhaps no bird better represents Taiwan than the endemic Taiwan Blue Magpie Urocissa caerulea. It is fairly common, instantly recognizable, and beautiful. (Craig Brelsford)

Taiwan Blue Magpie Urocissa caerulea is endemic to the lowland broadleaved forests of Taiwan. BEHAVIOR Eats mainly insects and small vertebrates (including their eggs), also wild figs and other vegetable matter. Usually in small flocks. Noisy. ID Black hood reaches nape and upper breast; rest of plumage rich dark blue to purple, lighter on underparts, which grade to pale blue on belly and to white on vent. Tertials have white tips, as does each feather on the long, graduated tail; each tail feather also has black subterminal band. Juvenile has greyish-black hood. BARE PARTS Yellow eye contrasts sharply against hood. Bill stout, arched, red; feet red. VOICE Raucous cackle kyak-kyak, kyak-kyak, reminiscent of Oriental Magpie Pica serica. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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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