Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Rufous Treepie

From Opus

Photo by phbhanuBilasiya, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, June 2007
Photo by phbhanu
Bilasiya, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, June 2007

Alternative name: Indian Treepie

Dendrocitta vagabunda


[edit] Identification

46 - 50cm.

  • Blackish hood and breast
  • Large whitish panel on wings, black primaries
  • Tawny brown underparts and lower back
  • Ginger brown mantle
  • Short, thick, downcurved black bill
  • Long bluish-grey tail with a black band on the tip
  • Rounded wings

Sexes similar. Juveniles have browner hood and back, a pale buff rump and underparts and a buff-tipped tail. They sometimes lack rufous tones.

Photo by zweiblumenRanthambhore NP, Rajasthan, India, November 2005
Photo by zweiblumen
Ranthambhore NP, Rajasthan, India, November 2005

[edit] Similar species

All other treepies have mainly black wings.

[edit] Distribution

Found from east Pakistan to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, adjacent southern China (SW Yunnan), Thailand, Cambodia, south Laos and south and central Vietnam.
Generally common and widespread in its range. Localized in Vietnam.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Although the geographical variation seems to be clinal nine subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • D. v. bristoli in northeastern Pakistan and northwest India to western Nepal
  • D. v. behni in western India (Rajasthan, western Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat south to Karnataka)
  • D. v. vagabunda in the lower Himalayas and northeast India (south to Hyderabad)
  • D. v. parvula in southwest India (south Kanara to Cape Comorin)
  • D. v. pallida in southeast India
  • D. v. sclateri in eastern Myanmar (upper Chindwin to Chin Hills and Arakan Yoma)
  • D. v. kinneari in southern Myanmar and northwest Thailand
  • D. v. saturatior in Tenasserim and southern Thailand
  • D. v. sakeratensis in eastern Thailand and Indochina
FledglingPhoto by aribanSagar Island, West Bengal, India, June 2012
Photo by ariban
Sagar Island, West Bengal, India, June 2012

[edit] Habitat

Open forest consisting of scrub, plantations and gardens. Also in city parks.
Mostly in lowlands but ascending as high as 2100m.

[edit] Behaviour

Usually seen in pairs or family groups. Follows other species (like Woodpeckers) and may ride on backs of domestic and wild large mammals, feeding on ectoparasites.

[edit] Diet

Omnivorous. It feeds on fruits, invertebrates, small reptiles and the eggs and young of birds.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season generally from March to July, depending to rains. The nest is a rather small flimsy cup made of twigs. It's placed 6 - 8m above the ground, often in an exposed and prominent tree. Lays 2 - 6 eggs.

[edit] Movements

A sedentary species.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Bharatpur Keoladeo National Park, India, July-2015
Call of Ssp. bristoli

[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. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at
  3. Dickinson, EC, ed. 2014. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 13: 9780956861122
  4. 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
  5. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.31897092 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 14:06.