15. Cissa ornata.
The Ceylonese Magpie.
Pica ornata, Wagler, Isis, 1829, p. 749. Cissa puella, Blyth, Cat. p. 93 (1849). Cissa pyrrhocyanea, Lichtenstein, Gould, B. Asia, v, pl. 53 (1850). Cissa ornata (Wagl.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 87; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 353, pl. 15; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 408; id. Cat. no. 673 bis; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 19.
Coloration. "Whole head, neck, upper back, and upper breast rich chestnut; remainder of the body-plumage bright blue, suffused with cobalt next the chestnut of the neck; tail blue, tipped with white and subterminally with black ; wing-coverts brown, more or less margined and suffused with blue : quills chestnut on the outer webs, black on the inner, changing to blue on the tertiaries; thighs dusky purple.
Iris light brown; eyelid deep red ; orbital skin somewhat paler; bill, legs, and feet coral-red; claws reddish yellow at base, dusky at tip (Legge).
Length about 17; tail up to 10; wing 6.5; tarsus 1.7; bill from gape 1.6.
Distribution. The forests of Ceylon only.
Habits, &c. Breeds in Ceylon during the cool season or from December to February. The nest appears to be similar to that of the last. One egg recorded by Legge was bluish green marked with umber-brown and bluish grey, and measured about 1.3 by 1.