02 April 2012

Oriental Magpie Robin

Female checking out Tree Hole for Nest

The Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus Saularis) is a trim black and white bird with cocked tail. Black portions of the male are replaced by brown and slate grey in the female. The juvenile resembles the female, but has a scaly head and upperparts, and mottled brown throat and breast.

Many Magpie-Robins have been visiting my Garden

This bird moves about singly or in pairs. It is one of the most familiar birds about Indian villages and is found in cultivated areas and open woodlands and frequents human habitation surroundings. Several of these birds have been visiting my garden during the last month or so. The Oriental Magpie-Robin is shy, silent and unobtrusive during non breeding season, generally hiding and rummaging in shrubbery. 

Beautiful Male with Colouring in Tree

However the Oriental Magpie-Robin is very conspicuous during breeding season when the male sings lustily from poles or trees chiefly in early mornings or late afternoons. Its song is punctuated by upward jerks of its tail. This bird is an excellent mimic of other birds’ calls. Its breeding territory is jealously guarded and intruders are met with strutting and pugnaciousness.

Immature Bird

Magpie Robins breed mainly from March to July in India and January to June in South-east Asia. Its nest is located in a cavity, a hole in a tree, in a wall, in a building, a ledge under a roof, or any place near humans. Its nest can also be built in thick shrubs, in forks of branches on a small tree, even in an old tin can or post boxes.

Flying with Nesting Material

The Oriental Magpie-Robin uses two kinds of communication behaviour: first, vocal, by songs and calls; then, by posturing: wagging the tail, pecking, submission, begging posturing, body presentation and flying. This bird often flies near the ground, only on short distances. It is a terrestrial bird. 

Chicks in Nest

The nest, which is usually built low, is often untidy, made with grass and dried leaves, twigs, moss and roots. The next interior is lined with fibres or grass. Eggs 3 to 5 pale blue green, blotched and mottled with reddish brown. The female incubates, male shares other domestic chores. Both parents raise the young which remain in the territory until the next breeding season.

Female on Tree

Bird Finding Insect Grubs on the Ground

Food for the Oriental Magpie-Robin comprises mostly of insects picked straight off the ground. It also consumes earthworms, snails, small lizards and some plant matter and flower nectar from such trees as Salmalia and Erythrina

Beautiful Male Oriental Magpie-Robin

This beautiful bird is sadly widely captured and kept as a cage bird because of its singing ability. The Magpie Robin is the National Bird of Bangladesh.

Wonderful Shot of Beak of Male

Sweet Calls of this Beautiful Bird

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