Common Green Magpie

Cissa Chinensis

Last updated: October 17, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© sittitap/Shutterstock.com

Magpies are aggressive when threatened, often “dive-bombing” at intruders

Common Green Magpie Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Corvidae
Genus
Cissa
Scientific Name
Cissa Chinensis

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Common Green Magpie Conservation Status

Common Green Magpie Locations

Common Green Magpie Locations

Common Green Magpie Facts

Prey
invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, young birds, bird eggs, and carrion
Name Of Young
chicks
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
Magpies are aggressive when threatened, often “dive-bombing” at intruders
Estimated Population Size
Unknown and declining
Biggest Threat
Habitat loss and overhunting
Most Distinctive Feature
Black stripes across their eyes
Distinctive Feature
Bright green plumage
Incubation Period
18 to 19 days
Age Of Fledgling
25 days
Habitat
Evergreen and bamboo forests
Predators
birds of prey, foxes, and small mammals
Diet
Carnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Favorite Food
Carrion
Type
Bird
Common Name
Common green magpie
Number Of Species
5
Location
Asia
Nesting Location
Trees, shrubs, or climbing vines

Common Green Magpie Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Green
Skin Type
Feathers
Top Speed
18 mph
Lifespan
up to 20
Weight
4.5 ounces
Length
14 to 15 inches

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“These carnivores eat reptiles, other birds, and even carrion.”

Summary

The common green magpie is a medium-sized member of the crow family native to the lower Himalayas and Southeastern Asia. This species inhabits lowland bamboo forests and wetlands, where it spends its days hunting insects, reptiles, and mammals. You will often find this bird pecking at dead animals on the forest floor or perched high in a tree. They are also superb fliers who will attack intruders, using their sharp bills as a weapon. Discover all the fascinating facts about the common green magpie, including where it lives, what it eats, and how it behaves.

5 Amazing Common Green Magpie Facts

  • Common green magpies blend with their surroundings, despite their brightly colored plumage.
  • One of their most notable features is the broad black bands across their eyes.
  • They are excellent fliers and can reach up to 20 Mph.
  • These birds are strict carnivores who eat anything they can get their beaks on, including dead animals and bird eggs.
  • Magpies are aggressive when threatened, often “dive-bombing” at intruders and using their sharp bills to peck.

Where to Find the Common Green Magpie

Common green magpies live in eleven countries in Asia, including Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It lives in habitats such as evergreen forests, bamboo forests, clearings, and scrublands. They need areas with plenty of vegetation for cover and nest protection. You may also spot them in wetlands or forests near streams and rivers in subtropical lowlands. While their plumage features bright colors, they are surprisingly camouflaged against their forest habitats. Look for them perched high in trees near their nest, flying around looking for prey or pecking at their food on the ground. A great way to find them is to listen for their loud, harsh calls.

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Scientific Name

The common green magpie (Cissa Chinensis) is from the Corvidae family, encompassing over 130 species, including crows and ravens. Its genus, Cissa, includes magpies that inhabit tropical and subtropical Southeast Asian regions. This magpie has five recognized subspecies.

Size, Appearance, & Behavior

common green magpie
Magpies are aggressive when threatened, often “dive-bombing” at intruders and using their sharp bills to peck.

©Riku sen/Shutterstock.com

The common green magpie is a medium-sized bird, measuring 14 to 15 inches long and weighing 4.5 ounces, with an unknown wing span. Those in the wild are a bright green color and a lighter green on their undersides, with a thick black stripe running across their eyes (from bill to nape). Their tails are long with white tips, and their wings are a deep maroon. A bright red color adorns their bills, legs, and the rims around their eyes. Not much is known about their social behavior, but they typically mate for life and share a nesting territory with their partner. These birds are known for being loud and noisy, with their harsh “peep-peep” calls. They may also whistle and chatter with each other. They are excellent fliers and can reach speeds up to 20 Mph.

Diet

Common green magpies are strictly carnivorous and will eat almost anything.

What Does the Common Green Magpie Eat?

These magpies eat invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, young birds, bird eggs, and even dead animals (carrion). They hunt for their prey while flying or on the ground, often attacking bird nests and stealing their young. You may catch them picking at dead creatures like crows and mammals on the forest floor.

Predators, Threats, and Conservation Status

The IUCN lists the common green magpie as LC or “least concern.” Due to their extensive range and estimable stable population, this species does not reach the thresholds for “threatened” status. Their biggest threats include habitat loss and overhunting.

What Eats the Common Green Magpie?

Their main predators include birds of prey, foxes, and other small mammals. The common green magpie doesn’t have a lot of predators due to its wild and aggressive behavior. When threatened, it will dive-bomb predators and peck with its sharp bill. They may also swoop without beak snapping or front-on attacks from the ground.

Reproduction, Young, and Molting

Green magpies form long-term pair bonds and build their nest in trees, shrubs, or tangles of climbing vines. Females lay four to six eggs and incubate them for 18 to 19 days, while the males bring food. Both parents feed the nestlings, and they leave the nest around 25 days old. Magpies live an average of 10 to 15 years, but up to 20!

Population

The global population for the common green magpie is unknown, but it appears to be locally common to uncommon. However, their population is experiencing a decline due to habitat loss and unsustainable levels of hunting.

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer and content creator focusing on nature, wildlife, food, and travel. She graduated Kappa Beta Delta from Florida State College with a business degree before realizing writing was her true passion. She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking!

Common Green Magpie FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where does the common green magpie live?

They live in eleven countries in Asia, including Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It lives in habitats such as evergreen forests, bamboo forests, clearings, and scrublands.

How big is the common green magpie?

The common green magpie is a medium-sized bird, measuring 14 to 15 inches long and weighing 4.5 ounces, with an unknown wing span.

What do common green magpies sound like?

These birds are known for being loud and noisy, with their harsh “peep-peep” calls. They may also whistle and chatter with each other.

What do common green magpies eat?

These magpies eat invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, young birds, bird eggs, and even dead animals (carrion).

What threatens the common green magpie?

Their biggest threats include habitat loss and overhunting.

What eats the common green magpie?

Their main predators include birds of prey, foxes, and other small mammals.

How many eggs does the common green magpie lay?

 Females lay four to six eggs and incubate them for 18 to 19 days, while the males bring food.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Red List / Bird Life International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22705809/130381297
  2. Prince of Songkla University / Christopher A. Salema, Available here: https://kb.psu.ac.th/psukb/bitstream/2016/12225/1/420783.pdf

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