Fun Taiwan Blue Magpie Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Learn about this endemic species of birds with Taiwan blue magpie facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

If magpies are your favorite birds, you will surely enjoy reading about this one-of-a-kind Taiwan blue magpie. Also as famous as the Formosan blue magpie, this bird is a native to the island nation after which it is named, which is the only place on earth where you will find this beauty.

Named by the Ching dynasty as long-tailed mountain lass, this species was found by English naturalist Robert Swinhoe.

Famed for its nest-helper system, this pretty bird also displays the unique food hoarding technique that matches with its American relative, the raven.

To avoid hunger, the Taiwan blue magpie often hides food in crevices, tree hollows, and in shallow holes dug in the ground and then covers it ingeniously with leaves and forest litter for future use.

Brought into prominence through the efforts of the Taiwan International Birding Association, these feathered animals are known to fly in long-tailed formations (flying in a line) and are fiercely protective of each other.

The flight formation of these beauties is definitely a feast for the eyes!

Does the Formosan blue magpie sound like an interesting bird species? Read on, and you will not be disappointed!

If you like what you read, do check out facts about the Australian magpie and magpie for more.

Taiwan Blue Magpie Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Taiwan blue magpie?

The Taiwan blue magpie belongs to the kingdom Animalia, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae, genus Urocissa and species caerulea. It is one of the several species of magpies existing in the world.

What class of animal does a Taiwan blue magpie belong to?

Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, belongs to the Aves class, that is, it falls under the category of birds.

How many Taiwan blue magpie are there in the world?

The information regarding the exact number of these birds remains unknown since no official count has been done given the bird's stable population.

Where does a Taiwan blue magpie live?

Formosan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, lives in lowland broadleaf forests, mountains, parks, and near human residences. It usually settles in places with dense trees of low altitudes and plains. This blue magpie is found at elevations within a range of 300-1500 m (984-4921 ft).

What is a Taiwan blue magpie's habitat?

The Formosan blue magpie is a common bird of Taiwan. It is one of the 14 bird species native to Taiwan. This bird with blue plumage inhabits the lush green mountains of the Chinese republic nation.

Who do Taiwan blue magpies live with?

The long-tailed mountain lady, as the Formosan blue magpie is locally known, is a gregarious bird, that is, it is highly social living in flocks of 3-12 birds. They are also quite tolerant of humans, frequenting habited settlements quite fearlessly much like other members of the crow family.

How long does a Taiwan blue magpie live?

Information on the lifespan of Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, is not available.

How do they reproduce?

The Formosan blue magpie is monogamous, that is, they have a single partner throughout their lives. The breeding season is in spring between March-August with the nest being completed within April.

The male and female both partake in the nest-building activity. The nest is built with twigs and weeds in densely leaved high branches.

Each clutch has 3-8 eggs which are incubated for 17-19 days by the female birds. The greenish eggs are brown spotted and are fiercely protected by the parents.

Having a close-knit family structure, the older offsprings act as caregivers to the chicks while the parents go into breeding for a second time. The chicks learn to fly about 22-24 days after hatching but remain close to parents long after that.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has enlisted the Formosan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, as an animal of Least Concern. However, owing to its endemism, Taiwan's Wildlife Conservation Act protects the species from illegal hunting and gives it a special status due to its cultural importance.

Taiwan Blue Magpie Fun Facts

What do Taiwan blue magpies look like?

The adult Formosan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, has a rich, smooth, and glossy sapphire blue plumage with white-tipped wings and tail. The underwing coverts are a dark gray complete with a black head and neck. They have bright yellow eyes and a rather long coral bill and red legs.

The tail consists of 12 feathers with two exceptionally long middle feathers. The flight feathers are a light gray. The young ones, however, have a gray tint with a short tail, gray beak, and bluish-gray eyes.

A Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea eyeing probable invaders.

How cute are they?

A Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, looks more regal than cute with its azure plumage.

How do they communicate?

These birds are very suspicious and ward off strangers with a loud, raucous call kyak-kyak-kyak-kyak. They are fiercely territorial and collectively beat back invaders using defensive body language. The other communicating calls include ge-kang, kwee-eep and gar-suee. They are particularly vocal in the breeding season giving out high-pitched cackling.

How big is a Taiwan blue magpie?

Almost equal in size to the European magpie, the Formosan blue magpie has a body length of 25-27 in (63-68 cm) but differs in its tail length. The tail measures around 15 in (40 cm). It has a wingspan of 7-8 in (18-21 cm).

How fast can a Taiwan blue magpie fly?

A Formosan blue magpie has a moderate flight speed.

How much does a Taiwan blue magpie weigh?

The average weight of a Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, is 9-9.2 oz (around 260 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No separate names have been assigned to the male and the female of the species.

What would you call a baby Taiwan blue magpie?

The young of these birds are called chicks or fledglings.

What do they eat?

A Formosan blue magpie, Urocissa caerulea, being an omnivore and scavenger has an eclectic menu that includes fruits, berries, caterpillars, small birds, eggs, insects, snakes, carrions, animal carcasses, and human waste.

Are they dangerous?

This member of the crow family can prove to be quite dangerous especially if humans invade their nesting area they will attack ruthlessly pecking them again and again until they retreat.

Would they make a good pet?

The mountain lady is not a good choice for a pet because of their defensive behavior.

Did you know...

Papaya is the fruit of choice for a Formosan magpie.

They are not migratory but in winters, may change their location if living in high altitudes.

They have a variety of local names like Chángwěi shānniáng in Pinyin and Tn̂g-boé soaⁿ-niû in Taiwanese Hokkien.

It is a close relative of red-billed blue magpie and yellow-billed blue magpie, both residents of mainland China.

Although they are not vulnerable however the introduction of red-billed blue magpies in Taichung led to hybridization. The Endemic Species Research Institute took steps to prevent the native's fate from going the same way as Taiwan hwamei. They relocated the nests of the red-billed away from the Taiwan species.

Where do you find magpies?

This member of the magpie family is commonly found in the lush green mountainous forests of Taiwan. They are not found anywhere else in the world.

What is the national bird of Taiwan?

The Taiwan International Birding Association conducted the National Bird Voting Campaign in 2007 which led to the Formosan blue magpie being awarded the status of the national bird of Taiwan but it was never formally accepted although over a million votes were cast from around 53 countries.  

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 American tree sparrow facts and red footed booby facts.

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

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Written by Moumita Dutta

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

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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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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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