Oriental Magpie Robin

Oriental Magpie Robin

It was sunday when I was taking some photographs of butterflies in my campus. Suddenly a white bellied bright black bird came near me and started eating black ants. It was very close to me untill my little son made a noise. I knew only it as Oriental Magpie Robin and as a common bird I have no more interest. But a close glance at the bird I felt sorry to know nothing about it.

Photo: susantatanti
Copsychus saularis , zoologically known belong to Muscicapidae family of order Passeriformes.

Oriental magpie robin is the National bird of Bangladesh. The Size is between 17 cm to 20 cm including the tail. It is a sparrow sized bird. Male has glossy blue-black upper parts, head, throat and upper breast. Long tail is black, with white outer feathers.

Wings are black with two bold, long, white wing bars. Underparts are white. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are grey above and grayish white.
The Oriental Magpie Robin is found in open woodland, cultivated areas often close to human habitations. They prefer open areas such as mangroves, gardens, cultivated areas. They are not found in the deep forest. Oriental Magpie-Robin feeds mainly on insects caught on the ground, and also flower nectar. It also consumes earthworms, snails, small lizards and some plant matter.

Photo: susantatanti Dated: 23-6-2019
The Oriental Magpie Robin is also amongst the more familiar birds found about the haunts of Man. They live solitary, in pairs or in family groups, about human habitations. In the non-breeding season it is shy and quiet, skulking about in undergrowth. The Oriental Magpie Robin is a common and tame bird. It is terrestrial, hopping along the ground with cocked tail. The male sings a few melodic notes during courtship. Oriental Magpie-Robin searches for food on the ground, hopping with raised tail and foraging for preys.

The Oriental Magpie Robins have a delightful varied song and are said to be able to imitate the calls of other birds. They are sprightly and lively, often cocking their long tails. They are easy to spot as they are not shy and sing from exposed perches.

Note: As I observed the bird it showed no fear to come near a human being , taking many insects (black ant) from near my feet ( 3-4 feet away) it might feeding its offaprings . As literature said during breeding period it has no shy character.


Great I am studying the voice calls of this bird under nius project comparing there calls, pre-nesting,post nesting and breeding behavior and also how they behave in presence of predator such as crow I will share the datas that I have collected in the last three months and would like to share with you all

Great @Susanta_Tanti and thanks @G_N for opening up this platform for us

Will post it by today only :star_struck::star_struck::star_struck::star_struck::star_struck::star_struck::star_struck:


Thank you @bivasnag . I am eager to listen the call of magpie robin.

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@Bivas, I am hearing very few of them, these days early morning, unlike a month ago when you initiated me into it. Why is it so? Their mating period is getting over or what? I have today’s recording. How can I pass it on? Another great initiative from your side @susant Tanti


Yes the thing is mating period of starts from late March till june mid the frequency of hearing the typical territorial call of magpie decreases as many of them have already laid eggs or given birth to the hatchlings… You might be hearing very few calls this time, the calls you are hearing mainly of those who are incubating the eggs and also if you look in the timing it is quite delayed as compared to the earlier one …

Here is the reference (PDF) Singing behaviour of the oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) | Amar Singh

@Arunan @Susanta_Tanti @jaikishan