Sri Lanka blue magpie

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Sri Lanka blue magpie
Thimindu 2010 02 20 Sinharaja Sri Lanka Blue Magpie 1.jpg
at Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Urocissa
Species: U. ornata
Binomial name
Urocissa ornata
(Wagler, 1829)
Distribution map for Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

The Sri Lanka blue magpie or Ceylon magpie (Urocissa ornata) is a member of the crow family living in the hill forests of Sri Lanka, where it is endemic.

This is a species of a dense wet evergreen temperate rain forest. It is declining due to loss of this habitat. Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is usually found in small groups of up to six or seven birds. It is largely carnivorous, eating small frogs, lizards, insects and other invertebrates, but will eat fruit.

The cup-shaped stick nest is in a tree or shrub and there are usually 3–5 eggs laid. The eggs are white heavily spotted with brown. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young with only the female incubating them.

The Sri Lanka blue magpie is about the same size as the European magpie at 42–47 cm. The adults are blue with chestnut head and wings, and a long white-tipped tail. The legs and bill are red. The young bird is a duller version of the adult.

The Sri Lanka blue magpie has a variety of calls including mimicry, a loud chink-chink and a rasping krak-krak-krak-krak.

In culture

In Sri Lanka, this bird is known as Kehibella (කැහිබෙල්ලා) in Sinhalese.[2] The blue magpie appears in a 10c Sri Lankan postal stamp,[3] which was in wide usage in the 1980s through 1990s.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Urocissa ornata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Anonymous (1998). "Vernacular Names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" (PDF). Buceros. 3 (1): 53–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-04-01.
  3. ^

External links

  • BirdLife Species Factsheet.
  • ARKive - images and movies of the Sri Lanka magpie (Urocissa ornata)
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