With this genus we come to the end of the Magpies or long-tailed Crows. The members of the present genus are small and are characterized by a tail of peculiar structure, the central pair of feathers being spatulate at the ends. The bill is small and the nostrils are concealed by a mass of velvety fine plumes, which also surround the base of the bill.
The Racket-tailed Magpies are quite arboreal, and in the course of many years' observation of them I have never on any occasion seen one on the ground. They cling to the outer branches of trees and search the leaves for insects ; they also feed on fruit. They have a not unpleasant metallic note. The nest is more skilfully constructed than that of other Magpies, being firmly secured by tendrils of creeping plants and presenting a compact appearance. The eggs are quite Corvine in their character.
Key to the Species.
a. The whole head and body metallic green………………….C. varians, p. 85.
b. The head black; the body grey………………….C. cucullata, p. 35.