13. Urocissa flavirostris.
The Yellow-billed Blue Magpie.
Psilorhinus flavirostris, Myth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 28 (1846); id. Cat. p. 93. Urocissa flavirostris (Bl.), Horsf. M. Cat. ii, p. 578; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 310; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 242; Hume, N. & E. p. 419; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 72; Hume, Cat. no. 672; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 328; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 16. Urocissa cucullata, Gould, B. Asia, v, pi. 51 (1861).
Tying-jongring, Lepch.; Pianging-jabbring, Bhut.
Coloration. Head, neck, and breast black, the nape white and the feathers of the crown tipped white; back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail-coverts purplish ashy, the last tipped black and with a narrow pale band in front of the black; wing-coverts, the outer web of the primaries and secondaries and the whole of the tertiaries purplish blue; all the quills tipped white, the earlier primaries whitish on the terminal half of the outer web ; tail blue, with a broad white tip and all but the central pair of feathers with a subterminal black band; lower plumage, from the breast downwards, white tinged with purple.
Bill pale waxy yellow ; iris (in male only) bright yellow ; feet bright orange-yellow (Scully).
Length about 26 ; tail up to 18 ; wing 7.4; tarsus 1.8 ; bill from gape 1.5.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Ladak and Hazara to Bhutan at elevations of from 6000 to 10,000 feet.
Habits, &c. This Magpie, which has the same habits as the last, breeds from April to August, building a large nest of twigs and roots most commonly in oak trees, up to 30 feet or more from the ground. The eggs, usually four in number, are of the Magpie type and measure 1.3 by .92.
There are two Chinese species of Blue Magpies, neither of which, however, is likely to occur within the limits of India.