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White-bellied Treepie - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Mike Barth
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala, India, March 2011

Alternative name: Southern Treepie

Dendrocitta leucogastra


45cm. An unmistakable treepie:

  • Black face, breast and wing
  • Rufous mantle
  • White underparts and nape
  • Long white tail with broad black tip and outher feathers

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller, have some buff-fringed feathers and an ill-defined black bib.


Endemic to the Western Ghats in southwest India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka).
A locally common restricted-range species.


This is a monotypic species[1].
Forms a species group with Bornean Treepie, Sumatran Treepie and Grey Treepie.


Lush evergreen hill forest, also in secondary forest with relict patches of primary forest and shola forest. Avoids human habitation. Occurs from 60m to 1500m.



Feeds omnivorous, mainly on invertebrates and their larvae, small lizards, rodents, eggs, nestlings, flower nectar, fruits and seeds.
Usually seen in pairs or family parties, often in mixed parties, particularly with Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.


Breeding season from February to April. The nest is a platform of twigs on a medium sized tree. Lays 3 - 4 eggs.


A resident species. Some old records from further north known.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. 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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