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Racket-tailed Treepie - BirdForum Opus

Photo by ruchai
Sriracha, Thailand, November 2003

Alternative names: Black Racquet-tailed Treepie; Black Treepie; Bronzed Treepie

Crypsirina temia


31 - 33cm. A small, all-dark treepie:

  • Black forehead of short, plush black feathers
  • Rest of plumage blaksih with bronze-green sheen (contrasting in good light with black of face and throat)
  • Long tail, broadening at the end, blackish with greenish tinge
  • Turquoise-blue iris, darkening towards the pupil to a deep black
  • Black bill and feet

Sexes are similar. Juveniles have a brown iris and are dull greyish-black overall.


Found in southern Myanmar to northern Malaya, Indochina, Java and Bali
Extirpated in extreme northwest peninsular Malaysia. An old specimen from Sumatra and two from Borneo are today regarded as erroneous.
Not uncommon in most of its range.


This is a monotypic species.


Scrub and secondary growth, open fields and gardens, bamboo thickets and open forest up to 1000m.


It is an arboreal feeder. Its tail is used as a balancing organ. It eats mainly insects and fruit.
Breeding reported from April to August. Its nest is cup shaped and is built in bamboo or shrubs especially thorny ones often surrounded by open grassy areas. It normally lays 2–4 eggs.
The voice is usually described as harsh.
Resident as far as know.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://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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