The genus Cissa contains, among others, two Indian Magpies of very beautiful plumage. They differ from the Magpies of the genus Urocissa in having a much, shorter tail and the eyelids wattled at the edges, a feature which is very distinct in life and generally visible in some degree in dry skins.
Jerdon, very properly I think, places this bird between Urocissa and Dendrocitta, but wrongly calls it a Jay. I think it may be better termed a Magpie, in view of its long tail and bright Coloration.
The Magpies of this genus are forest birds of shy habits, feeding a good deal on the ground. In the construction of their nests they resemble Urocissa and not Pica. They have red bills.
Davison has mentioned (S. F. vi, p. 385) how closely the habits of these Magpies accord with those of Garrulax. They are more¬over closely allied to that genus in structure and form a link between the Corvidae and the Crateropodidae.
Key to the Species.
a. Head and neck green ………………….C. chinensis, p. 28.
b. Head and neck chestnut ………………….C. ornata, p. 20.