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Species Guide
A photo of a Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis)
Common Green Magpie

Common Green Magpie

Cissa chinensis

The Common Green Magpie, Cissa chinensis, is a vibrant member of the crow family. It is comparable in size to the Eurasian jay, albeit slightly smaller. The species is adorned with a striking bright green plumage, which may fade to turquoise under captivity or due to dietary deficiencies, as the coloration is dependent on carotenoid pigments. The bird's underside is a paler shade of green, and it features a pronounced black stripe extending from its bill, passing through the eyes, to the nape. The white-tipped tail of the Common Green Magpie is notably long when compared to its congeners. The bird's vivid coloration is further accentuated by the red fleshy eye rims, bill, and legs, while the wings present a reddish maroon hue.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Common Green Magpie, look for the characteristic bright green plumage, the black stripe running from the bill through the eyes to the nape, and the long white-tipped tail. The red around the eyes, bill, and legs are also distinctive features that aid in identification.


This species thrives in evergreen forests, including bamboo forests, as well as in forest clearings and scrub areas.


The Common Green Magpie is native to a region stretching from the lower Himalayas in northeastern India through a broad southeast band into central Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, and northwestern Borneo.


The Common Green Magpie is an active forager, seeking sustenance both on the ground and in the trees. It has an omnivorous diet but shows a strong preference for animal prey, including a wide array of invertebrates, small reptiles, mammals, as well as young birds and eggs. It is also known to scavenge flesh from carcasses.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the Common Green Magpie are quite diverse, but a harsh "peep-peep" is commonly heard. The bird is also known to whistle and chatter, contributing to the rich soundscape of its habitat.


Nests are constructed within trees, large shrubs, and often amidst tangled climbing vines. The typical clutch consists of 4 to 6 eggs.

Similar Species

While the Common Green Magpie is unique in its coloration, it may be confused with other members of the genus Cissa. However, its long white-tipped tail and the distinctive red around the eyes and bill set it apart.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Common Green Magpie is predominantly carnivorous, with a strong preference for animal prey. It is an opportunistic feeder, taking advantage of a variety of food sources.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the Common Green Magpie as Least Concern, indicating that the species, at present, does not face any imminent threat of extinction.

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Common Green Magpies on Birda


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