Fun Oriental Magpie Robin Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Oriental magpie robin facts are all about a unique bird of the Muscicapidae family.

Do you like small birds like robins? Then, this bird will really intrigue you. The Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) belongs to the Muscicapidae family, which is also known as the Old World flycatcher family. These birds are classified into several subspecies according to their geographical distribution.

They inhabit Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The preferred habitat of these birds includes open areas in urban parks, gardens, and mangroves. They are also found in cultivated areas around human settlements.

This species has a long tail that is held upright while they are seen hopping along the ground. These birds are usually heard singing at dawn and dusk. They are famous for their melodious songs.

Their breeding season ranges from January to June in southeast Asia. After mating, the females lay between four and five eggs.

Male birds are involved in defending the territory, while females feed the young birds. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) as a species of Least Concern.

However, the destruction of their habitat, climate change, and the pet trade are some major threats encountered by them. In Singapore and Hong Kong, this species of birds is protected by law.

If you liked reading this article, then do check out our facts about the common blackbird and the Nicobar pigeon.

Oriental Magpie Robin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Oriental magpie robin?

Oriental magpie robins are birds belonging to the Muscicapidae family. This species belongs to the order Passeriformes and is classified into several subspecies according to their distribution.

What class of animal does an Oriental magpie robin belong to?

This species of bird belongs to the class Aves.

How many Oriental magpie robins are there in the world?

The exact number of individuals of this species present in the world is yet not known. They have stable growth in their population and are commonly found in various parts of southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Where does an Oriental magpie robin live?

This bird is a resident breeder in south Asia. It inhabits Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, the eastern part of Pakistan, Nepal, southern parts of China, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, eastern Indonesia, and Singapore. It has also been introduced to Australia.

What is an Oriental magpie robin's habitat?

An Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) is commonly found in woodlands. These areas comprise trees overlapping each other, forming a dense canopy.

The preferred habitat of this bird is open areas found in gardens or mangroves. They often nest around human settlements and cultivated areas and they also usually avoid dense forests. This bird is found up to an elevation of 2000 ft (609.6 m) from sea level.

Who does Oriental magpie robin live with?

They are known to stay alone, in pairs, or in groups of their own species.

How long does an Oriental magpie robin live?

This bird has a lifespan of 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Their breeding season occurs from January to June in parts of southeast Asia, while in the Indian subcontinent they breed from March to July. The male exhibits courtship displays and vocalizes its mating call to attract the female on the breeding ground.

An Oriental magpie robin nest is built in trees, thick shrubs, or near human settlements. It is made up of grasses, feathers, and fibers. After mating, females lay around four to five eggs which are usually pale bluish to green in color with brown spots.

These Oriental magpie robin eggs are incubated for a span of eight to 15 days. Females are mostly involved in parental care while males defend their territories.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) as a species of Least Concern. Destruction of their habitat, climate change, and the pet trade are some of the major threats encountered by this species of bird. However, these birds are now protected by law in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Oriental Magpie Robin Fun Facts

What does an Oriental magpie robin look like?

The Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) exhibits sexual dimorphism as males and females differ in their appearance. They also differ from one another on the basis of their geographical distribution.

Males usually have a black or bluish-black head, neck, throat, and bill. Their black tail is positioned upright while they are hopping along the ground. Both males and females have a brown iris.

The outer feathers of the tail and the shoulder patch are both white in color. The shoulder patch consists of two white wing bars extending from the shoulders to the tip of the wings. Female birds have a grayish-black plumage with grayish-white underparts.

Female birds found in India are paler than the rest, whilst young birds have brownish upperparts. Their legs and feet are also black in color.

Oriental Magpie Robin perched on a tree branch

How cute are they?

Small birds like robins and mockingbirds are generally cute. Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance and size. The presence of their black plumage, white shoulder patch, long tail, and dark eyes make them immensely cute.

How do they communicate?

These birds usually communicate through a range of vocalizations. They possess a great singing ability and their songs are usually heard during dusk and dawn. They are also heard imitating the songs of other birds.

Their songs often vary in dialect from that of their neighbors. Their call is usually a sharp hissing or whistling sound. Males have a distinct mating call during the breeding season and are heard singing loudly from high perches.

Their calls highly vary depending upon their surrounding environment. They have a territorial threat call, too, to prevent intruders from entering their territories. Other vocalizations include submissive calls, begging calls, roosting calls, and distress calls.

How big is an Oriental magpie robin?

This bird is around 9 in (22.9 cm) long. It is slightly smaller than the cardinal bird, which is 5-10 in (12.7-25.4 cm) long. It is similar to the European robin, which stands at a length of 5-5.5 in (12.7-14 cm).

How fast can an Oriental magpie robin fly?

The exact speed of this bird is not known. They fly for short distances with fast wing beats.

How much does an Oriental magpie robin weigh?

An Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) weighs around 1.3 oz (36 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Scientists have not allotted specific names for male and female Oriental magpie robins. They are simply referred to as a male Oriental magpie robin and a female Oriental magpie robin.

What would you call a baby Oriental magpie robin?

Baby Oriental magpie robins are commonly known as chicks.

What do they eat?

They feed on a large variety of insects and invertebrates. Their diet includes centipedes, leeches, ants, caterpillars, beetles, termites, wasps, and crickets. They are also known to prey on fish and geckos. They occasionally feed on flower nectars.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, these birds are known to make good pets. They are easily tamed and can be kept in captivity.

They are an important part of the pet trade in various parts of the world, especially in southeast Asia. They are usually chosen for their melodious calls. During ancient times in India, they were regarded as an important cage bird for fighting matches and for their melodious songs.

Did you know...

The scientific name of this bird is Copsychus saularis. The word 'copsychus' is coined from the ancient Greek word 'kopsukhos' or 'kopsikhos', which means 'blackbird'.

The Oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis) is recognized as the national bird of Bangladesh. These birds are widely found in Bangladesh and are commonly called a doel or doyel.

Kazi Zakir Hossain, a Professor of Dhaka University, first identified it as the national bird of the country. Symbols of this bird are found on currency and important landmarks in Bangaldesh.

Magpie robins, including the Oriental magpie robin, are often believed to represent magic and prophecy.

How high can they fly?

The exact height reached by these birds during flight is not known. They usually fly at lower altitudes than many other birds.

Are they predators?

Yes, they are considered to be predators. These birds prey on a wide variety of insects, invertebrates, and fish. They feed on centipedes, leeches, ants, caterpillars, beetles, termites, wasps, lizards, and crickets as well. They search for their prey on leaf litter and along the branches of trees.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Fischer's lovebird facts and Blackburnian warbler facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable oriental magpie robin coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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