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Crows and Jays: Corvidae

Green Magpie (cissa Chinensis): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Green magpies have bright green heads and reddish brown wings. Their bodies are a lighter green, and their long, tapered tails have white tips. Black coloring on the face resembles a mask. Flesh around the eyes is red, and their bills, legs, and feet are also bright red. Green magpies range in length from 14.43 to 15.21 inches (37 to 39 centimeters). They weigh from 4.55 to 4.65 ounces (120 to 124 grams).

Geographic range: Green magpies live on the continent of Asia and are found in India, China, Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra.

Habitat: Green magpies live in forests and build nests in vines and in bamboo, which are woody, evergreen trees. Evergreens are coniferous trees that do not undergo seasonal changes.

Green magpies hunt for food—insects, small reptiles, young birds, eggs, amphibians, berries, and fruit—on the ground and in trees. (Illustration by Gillian Harris. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Green magpies hunt for food on the ground and in trees. The magpies eat insects, small reptiles, young birds, eggs, amphibians, berries, and fruit. Magpies also eat the flesh of recently killed animals.

Behavior and reproduction: Green magpies are solitary breeders. The male and female birds do not receive help, such as protection, from their older offspring. The magpie nest resembles a platform. The female magpie lays three to seven eggs during the months of January through April. Green magpies remain hidden during this time, and it is not known how long it takes for eggs to hatch. Within their habitat, groups of green magpies fly around with other groups of birds.

Green magpies and people: Green magpies, which are also known as cissas, are captured and sold as cage birds.

Conservation status: Green magpies are not in danger of extinction. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsCrows and Jays: Corvidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Crows, Jays, And People, Blue Jay (cyanocitta Cristata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS