Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) - Wiki
Oriental Magpie Robin
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[Photo] Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis). Gir forest, Gujarat, India. Photographed by S. Shankar
The Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, family Muscicapidae. It is also known as Oriental Magpie Robin, Straits Robin and Magpie.
This magpie-robin is an insectivorous species which is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia, south China and the Philippines.
The Oriental Magpie Robin is found in open woodland, cultivated areas and around human habitation. It nests in a hole, often in a wall, laying 3-6 eggs which are incubated by both sexes.
This species is 19cm long, including the long cocked tail. It is similar in shape to the smaller European Robin, but is longer-tailed. The male has black upperparts, head and throat apart from a white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are grey above and greyish white. Young birds have scaly brown upperparts and head.
The Oriental Magpie Robin is a common and tame bird. It is terrestrial, hopping along the ground with cocked tail. The male sings loud melodic notes from the top of a perch during the breeding season.
The name dhyal has led to many confusions. It was first used by Albin in 1737 (Suppl. N. H. Birds, i. p. 17, pls. xvii. xviii.), and Levaillant (Ois. d'Afr. iii. p. 50) thought it referred to a sun dial and he called it Cadran. Thomas C. Jerdon wrote (B. India, ii. p.1l6) that Linnaeus, thinking it had some connection with a sun-dial, called it solaris, by lapsus pennae, saularis. This is slightly incorrect and it is noted that the Hindi word saulary was latinized to saularis. A male bird was sent with this Hindi name from Madras by E. Buckley to Petiver, who first described the species (Ray, Synops. Meth. Avium, p.197).
Status and distribution
This is a native species in Singapore, where it is known by the Malay names Kampung/Cerang. Once very common in the 1920s, it was pushed to near extinction by the 1970s, largely due to the introduction of mynahs, illegal poaching, and the disappearance of its natural habitat in the face of rapid urbanisation. Attempts to reintroduce the bird were conducted in the 1980s, but the species remains vulnerable and hence protected by law.
Magpie Robin is a commonly found species in Hong Kong. According to birdwatchers, it is usually seen at large urban parks and the countryside, such as Victoria Peak, Kowloon Park, Mai Po Marshes and Tai Tam Country Park. Like all wild birds, Magpie Robin is protected by law.
Magpie Robin is a common bird in Bangladesh. It is found all over the country. It's local name (in Bangla) is Doyel or Doel. This bird has been designated as the National Bird of Bangladesh. Picture of this bird appeares on different currency notes of Bangladesh. Doyel Chatwar (meaning: Doyel Square) named after this bird is a prominent landmark in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.
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