Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Urocissa ornata
Would you be shocked to hear that today's bird is a relative of the Crows and Ravens? This bright, colorful creature belongs to the very same family as those often-darker birds, an example of how brilliant things can be in other parts of the world!

As you may have guessed from the name, the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is found only on the island of Sri Lanka. They live in the hilly rainforests, grouping up into small flocks of 6-8 birds. These birds are primarily carnivorous, and feed on small reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Sadly, these gorgeous blue and chestnut birds are considered to be Vulnerable. Habitat loss due to logging and agriculture is the biggest threat. Air pollution has also damaged the rainforests that these birds call home. Luckily, they are protected by the Sri Lankan government, and live in a handful of protected parks.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Sri Lanka
Size : Length up to 18in (45cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Corvidae -- Genus : Urocissa -- Species : U. ornata
Image : John Thompson

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