Saturday, 23 March 2013

Oriental Magpie Robin - National Bird of Bangladesh

The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) is a small passerine bird, considered an Old World flycatcher. They are black and white birds with a long tail. Distributed in most of the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia, they are common birds in urban gardens as well as forests. They are particularly well known for their songs and were once popular as cage-birds.

Interesting & Amazing Facts about Oriental Magpie Robin are:
  1. It is the national bird of Bangladesh.
  2. It is mystery bird.
  3. They have a varied diet of fruits and animals but are particularly fond of insects and worms.
  4. They forage in trees as well as on the ground, where they hop with their tail raised. They also sip nectar.
  5. They prefer open areas such as mangroves, gardens, cultivated areas. They are not found in the deep forest.
  6. They have a delightful varied song and are said to be able to imitate the calls of other birds. Described as a melodious song; a mournful rising whistle; and harsh raspy alarm note.
  7. They are easy to spot as they are not shy and sing from exposed perches. Sometimes, they may abruptly sing in at night!
  8. They breed in January to June.
  9. Males sing loudly from the top of trees or other high perches during the breeding season.
  10. They build their nests almost anywhere from thick shrubs, in the fork of branches of small trees, palms, hollow trees and even near human habitation: under a veranda, in a hole in the wall, in an old tin can, and in stables.
  11. Their nests are large, untidy, shallow cups loosely made from grass or dried leaves, twigs, moss, roots.
  12. They laid 3-5 eggs, pale blue or greenish with brown or purple spots. The female incubates, but both raise the young.
  13. Magpie Robins don't migrate.
  14. The Magpie Robin was once among the top three most common garden birds in the 1920's. By the late 1970's, it became virtually extinct on Singapore and was only found on some offshore islands due to illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade
  15.  In Malaysia, Magpie Robins are still common and are not protected by law. They continue to be trapped for the caged-bird trade.

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