Formosan Blue Magpie

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Formosan Blue Magpie

Formosan Blue Magpie
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Corvidae
Genus:Urocissa
Species:caerulea
Binomial name
Urocissa caerulea
Gould, 1863

The Formosan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea), also called the Taiwan Magpie, is a member of the Crow family. It is an endemic species living in the mountains of Taiwan at elevations of 300 to 1200m. Its informal name in Chinese means "long-tailed mountain lady" (長尾山娘).

It is about the same size as the European Magpie, but with a longer tail. The head, neck and breast are black, the rest of the plumage on the bird is a rich dark blue to purple in color. It has white markings on the wings and the tail. The bill, feet and legs are red, and the iris is yellowish.

Usually found in groups of six or more, it appears to avoid any human disturbance and quickly moves away from such encounters. Its food is similar to that of others in the genus, taking a wide range of fruits and seeds, insects and other invertebrates. Wild figs and papayas appear to be a favorite.

The nest is usually in a tree or shrub and there are usually between three to five eggs laid. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young with only the female incubating them.

The voice is described as a high pitched cackling chatter, "kyak-kyak-kyak-kyak."

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