Formosan Blue Magpie

The Formosan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea), also called the Taiwan Magpie, is a member of the Crow family. It is an common species living in the mountains of Taiwan at elevations of 300 to 1200m.

This species is about the same size as the European Magpie, but has a longer tail. The head, neck and breast are black and the rest of the plumage on the bird is a rich dark blue to purple in color. It has white markings on the wings and the tail. The bill, feet and legs are red, and the iris is yellowish.

This is a shy bird and is usually found in groups of six or more. Its diet is similar to that of others in the genus, taking a wide range of fruits and seeds, insects and other invertebrates. Wild figs and papayas are particular favorites.

The nest is usually built in a tree or shrub where the female lays between three to five eggs. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young but only the female incubates.

The voice is described as a high pitched cackling chatter, “kyak-kyak-kyak-kyak.”