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Indochinese Green Magpie - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Yellow-breasted Magpie; Eastern Green Magpie

Photo by paux
Nongang, Guangxi, China, October 2017
Cissa hypoleuca


34 - 35cm (13¼-13¾ in). A distinctive and striking Magpie:

  • Green plumage, yellow-washed on underparts
  • Prominent black band from base of bill over eye to nape
  • Reddish-chestnut wing
  • Prominent crimson to orange-red bill
  • Relatively short tail, outer tail feathers with black subterminal chevron and pale grey tip
  • Dark brown iris with crimson orbital ring
  • Bright-red to orange-red legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller than adults.

Similar species

Very similar to Short-tailed Green Magpie but no range overlap. Differs from Green Magpie by shorter tail, strong yellow wash below and tertial pattern.


From south-central China south to Vietnam, Laos and southeast Thailand.
Locally common or not uncommon.


Sometimes regarded as conspecific with Short-tailed Green Magpie.


There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • C. h. jini in SE China (Yaoshan Massif of Guangxi)
  • C. h. concolor in N Vietnam
  • C. h. chauleti in Central Vietnam
  • C. h. hypoleuca in E Thailand and s Indochina
  • C. h. katsumatae in Hainan (s China)


Tropical and subtropical forest, preferably with bamboo thickets. Occurs up to 900m in China and 1600m in Vietnam.



Feeds on insects, frogs, snakes lizards and eggs and nestlings.
Usually seen singly, in pairs or small family groups. Moves through dense undergrowth, often with other species like Laughingthrushes or Drongos.


Breeding recorded in May. The nest is a bowl made of twigs and placed well concealed in a tree some 2 - 3m above the ground. Lays 4 eggs in captivity.


A resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. 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

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