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Ratchet-tailed Treepie - BirdForum Opus

Photo by James Eaton
EBach Ma NP, Vietnam, March 2012

Alternative name: Notch-tailed Treepie

Temnurus temnurus


32 - 35cm. A small, dark treepie with a distinctive tail:

  • Blackish plumage with weak sheen on wing, tail and head
  • Long tail, tip of each rectrix notched into a pair of pointed extensions, projecting sideways down each side of tail
  • Stout black bill with curved culmen
  • Dark brown or red iris
  • Black legs

Sexes similar, juveniles are not yet described.


Found in extreme southern Burma and adjacent southwest Thailand, in central Laos, Vietnam and on Hainan (China).
Widespread and not uncommon, but not easy to find.


This is a monotypic species.


Subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Occurs up to 1200m.


Poorly known. An unobtrusive and easily overlooked bird, usually found when heard calling. Mostly seen in pairs or family groups, often together with other species like Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.
Feeds on insects and other invertebrates.
Not much know about breeding. Eggs reported from April to June. The nest is a shallow clutch made with twigs and sometimes placed in bamboo thickets. Lays 2 eggs.
Resident as far as know.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  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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