18. Pica pica bottanensis

(18) Pica pica bottanensis Delessert.
Pica pica bottanensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 39.
This bird breeds in Tibet and Kansu in N.W. China. Mr. St. J. Hickley sent me nests and eggs which I understood from him were taken in Northern Sikkim. Since then, however, Stevens, Meinertzhagen and Bailey have not observed this Magpie in Sikkim and it is possible that they came from across the border in South Tibet.
Nests and eggs were first found by Captains Steen and Kennedy in 1907-10, and in the latter year Captain Kennedy, in epistola, writes : “I send you some sets of eggs of the Tibetan Magpie, which breeds freely all round the plateau (Gyantse), placing their nests in the pollard willows, plane trees and even in thorn bushes quite low down. The nest is a domed affair, mud-lined and like that of the English Magpie, but much bigger.”
Ludlow (Ibis, 1928, p. 53) gives a somewhat fuller account:—
“Nest construction takes place towards the end of March, and eggs are to be found in April, May and June. The nest is the usual huge domed nest of sticks, with a lining of grass and fibres. Some¬times two or three nests are placed on the top of each other, but I always found the bottom nests untenanted, and they were probably old nests of previous years. Nests may be found high up in the topmost branches of high poplar-trees, or low down in a thicket only a few feet from the ground. The, usual clutch is four or five, but sometimes six eggs are laid and occasionally only three.”
To these descriptions all that need be added is that the nests are built in trees round houses, in single trees in cultivation or open plain, or in clumps and thickets, just as the bird may find convenient, and, of course, there is no attempt at concealment.
Seventy eggs (including 22, Ludlow) average 38.6 x 26.5 mm. : maxima 42.1 x 26.6 and 39.7 x 27.4 mm. ; minima 33.4 x 26.2 and. 37.2 x 25.1 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
18. Pica pica bottanensis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Bumped Magpie
Pica pica bottanensis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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