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Short-tailed Magpies or Short-tailed Green Magpies


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The Short-tailed Magpies (Cissa thalassina) or Short-tailed Green Magpies are endemic to montane forests on the southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Java. They can typically found in thick vegetation in the mid and upper storeys of forests.

Their natural plumage is mostly green – although the plumage of captive birds in particular often appears to be more turquoise (possibly caused by low-carotenoid diet).

They mainly feed on insects, worms, and small vertebrates (reptiles, etc.)


Two subspecies are currently recognized:

    • Cissa thalassina thalassina – nominate species (Temminck, 1826)
      • Range: W Java
      • ID: Dark reddish-brown eyes


  • Cissa thalassina jefferyi (Sharpe, 1888)
    • Range: N Borneo from Mt Kinabalu S to Mt Murud, the Usan Apau plateau and Mt Dulit
    • ID: Whitish eyes


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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