Photographer's Note

I took this shot in Kalyani(A town near Kolkata)
TheRufous Treepie(Dendrocitta vagabunda) is atreepie, native to theIndian Subcontinentand adjoining parts ofSoutheast Asia. It is a member of theCorvidae(crow)family. It is long tailed and has loud musical calls making it very conspicuous. It is found commonly in open scrub, agricultural areas, forests as well as urban gardens. Like other corvids it is very adaptable, omnivorous and opportunistic in feeding.
The sexes are alike and the main colour of the body is cinnamon with a black head and the long graduated tail is bluish grey and is tipped in black. The wing has a white patch. The only confusable species is theGrey Treepiewhich however lacks the bright rufous mantle. The bill is stout with a hooked tip. The underparts and lower back are a warm tawny-brown to orange-brown in colour with white wing coverts and black primaries. The bill, legs and feet are black.
The Rufous Treepie is an arboreal omnivore feeding almost completely in trees on fruits, seeds,invertebrates, small reptiles and the eggs and young ofbirds;it has also been known to take flesh from recently killed carcasses. It is an agile forager, clinging and clambering through the branches and sometimes joiningmixed hunting partiesalong with species such asdrongosandbabblers. It has been observed feeding on ecto-parasites of wild deer.Like many other corvids they are known tocachefood.They have been considered to be beneficial to palm cultivation in southern India due to their foraging on the grubs of the destructive weevilRhynchophorus ferrugineus.They are known to feed on the fruits ofTrichosanthes palmatawhich are toxic to mammals.
The breeding season in India is April to June. The nest is built in trees and bushes and is usually a shallow platform. There are usually 3-5 eggs laid.
This species has a wide repertoire of calls, but abob-o-linkorko-treecall is most common.A local name for this birdkotriis derived from the typical call while other names includeHandi Chanchaandtaka chor(="coin thief").

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Additional Photos by Indrasish Guha (Indrasish) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 261 W: 4 N: 717] (2943)
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