Oriental Magpie Robin

Oriental Magpie Robin, Photo: Asif Ishtiaque


Copsychus saularis, (Linnaeus,1758)

রাজ্য / Kingdom: Animalia
বর্গ / Order: Passeriformes
পরিবার / Family: Muscicapidae
গন / Genus: Copsychus
প্রজাতি / Species: C. saularis

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Oriental Magpie Robin is the National bird of Bangladesh. Size: 17–21 cm and weight 31–42 g. The male has black upper parts, head and throat apart from a white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. It has black wing with broad white wing bar. Females are grayish brown above and grayish white below. They have black bill, dark eyes and grey-black leg. Juvenile resembles female, but it has scaly head and upper parts, and mottled brown throat and breast.

Mainly feeds on insects caught on the ground, and also flower nectar and fallen fruits. It also consumes earthworms, snails, small lizards and some plant matter.

Breeding season varies region to region ranging from April – July in Indian region and November- August in farther south. Female lays 3-5 eggs which are pale blue or greenish with brown or purple spots. Incubation period is 8-14 days. Males are quite aggressive in defending their territories during breeding season and highly vocal.  They build their nests in varying places like tree branches, hollows on trees and walls, mail boxes, tin cans in the urban areas.

Magpie Robins have a delightful varied song. Apart from their song, they use a range of calls including territorial, emergence and roosting, threat, submissive and distress calls. May be this is the reason of saying that Magpie robin is able to imitate the calls of other birds.

They are very common native bird of Bangladesh. Also found in South Asia and South-east Asian countries. Commonly found in open woodland and cultivated areas often close to human habitations and forest edges.


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