Ceylon Blue Magpie
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie "Urocissa ornate" (Wagler, 1829)
The blue magpie reaches a length of around 45 cm. Sexes are alike. Juveniles are much paler and have short tails pointed feathers. The eyelids of adults are red, bright orange-red feed. Adult plumage is attained by the second year.
Blue Magpies prefer undisturbed forests (although they are often seen around the villages). Today they are known from few suitable patches of forest in the wet zone foothills.
They are shy but noisy bird; usually move around in pairs or small groups. Members of the flock keep in contact by calls. The blue magpies are omnivorous, feeding on insects, beetles and lizards, and rather less on fruits.
They spend most of their time among the foliage probing for food under tree-bark and descending to the ground only in search of prey.
Blue magpies breed from January to around the end of April. The nest is much like a crow’s but placed among smaller branches. The clutch varies from 3-5, four being the most common. The eggs are oval somewhat pear-shaped, measuring about 30.5×22.1 mm. The ground colour varies from off-white to white, faintly tinged with oliver grey or slightly yellowish, speckled or blotched all over with pale reddish to dark brown markings. Magpies are corporate breeders.