The genus Urocissa contains a few brightly plumaged Magpies which are found in India and China. They differ from the true Magpies in having the nostrils, which are covered by rather soft plumes, not by stiff bristles, situated near the base of the bill, in having a longer tail and a bill which is either red or yellow, never black.
The Blue Magpies frequent forest districts, and are not found so often near villages and cultivation as the common Magpie. They feed a great deal on the ground, chiefly on large insects. They differ remarkably from the species of Pica in not constructing a dome over their nests; otherwise their nesting-habits appear to be much the same.
Key to the Species.
a. Bill red ; nuchal white patch large, reaching to the end of the black on the hind neck ………………….U. occipitalis, p. 26.
b. Bill yellow ; nuchal white patch small, not reaching to the margin of the black on the
hind neck ………………….U. flavirostris, p. 27.