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Grey Treepie - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Mark Bruce
Nantou County, Taiwan, 17 November 2006

Alternative name: Himalayan Treepie

Dendrocitta formosae


subspecies D. f. occidentalis
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Nainital, Alt. 4800 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, 16 October 2015

36 - 40cm. A drab brownish-grey treepie.

  • Grey nape and underparts
  • Long black tail
  • Rufous vent
  • Brown mantle
  • Black wings with a white patch
  • Black bill and grey feet
  • Brown iris

Sexes similar. Juveniles are more uniformely grey-brown.


From the Himalayas of Pakistan east over India, Nepal, Bhutan to Burma, south China and northern Indochina to Taiwan.
Generally common and widespread.



Photo © by Rajsurin
Himachal Pradesh, India, 5 November 2012

Eight subspecies accepted[1]:


Deciduous montane woodland. Prefers open forest. Found between 800 and 2300m in the Himalayas, down to 550m in China.



Feeds on invertebrates, their larvae, lizards, small birds, eggs and nestlings. Takes also fruits and seeds and nectar from flowering trees. Often around villages scavenging for kitchen waste.
Usually seen in pairs or small groups. Also often in bird waves, eg with Laughingthrushes.


Breeds from April to July but times vary locally according to rains. The nest is a small, flimsy cup made of sticks and placed some 2 - 6m above the ground in a small tree, bamboo stand or shrub. Lays 3 - 5 eggs.

subspecies D. f. sarkari
Photo © by drkishore
Maredumilli, Andhra Pradesh, India, 23 September 2018


A sedentary species.


Recording © by Alok Tewari
One individual sitting in canopy, called and flew away.
Ranikhet Hill Station, Alt. 6800 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2018.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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