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Grey Treepie

From Opus

subspecies formosaePhoto by Mark BruceNantou County, Taiwan, November 2006
subspecies formosae
Photo by Mark Bruce
Nantou County, Taiwan, November 2006

Alternative name: Himalayan Treepie

Dendrocitta formosae


[edit] Identification

36 - 40cm. A drab brownish-grey treepie.

  • Grey nape and underparts
  • Long black tail
  • Rufous vent
  • Brown mantle
  • Black wings with a white patch
  • Black bill and grey feet
  • Brown iris

Sexes similar. Juveniles are more uniformely grey-brown.

subspecies occidentalisPhoto by Robert L JarvisGreen Glen Lodge, Sat Tal, India, January 2006
subspecies occidentalis
Photo by Robert L Jarvis
Green Glen Lodge, Sat Tal, India, January 2006

[edit] Distribution

From the Himalayas of Pakistan east over India, Nepal, Bhutan to Burma, south China and northern Indochina to Taiwan.
Generally common and widespread.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Eight subspecies accepted[1]:

[edit] Habitat

Photo by RajsurinHimachal Pradesh, India, November 2012
Photo by Rajsurin
Himachal Pradesh, India, November 2012

Deciduous montane woodland. Prefers open forest. Found between 800 and 2300m in the Himalayas, down to 550m in China.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on invertebrates, their larvae, lizards, small birds, eggs and nestlings. Takes also fruits and seeds and nectar from flowering trees. Often around villages scavenging for kitchen waste.
Usually seen in pairs or small groups. Also often in bird waves, eg with Laughingthrushes.

[edit] Breeding

Breeds from April to July but times vary locally according to rains. The nest is a small, flimsy cup made of sticks and placed some 2 - 6m above the ground in a small tree, bamboo stand or shrub. Lays 3 - 5 eggs.

[edit] Movements

A sedentary species.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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