Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Ratchet-tailed Treepie (Temnurus temnurus)


French: Témia temnure German: Leiterschwanzelster Spanish: Urraca de raquetas

Glaucopis temnura


, 1825,

Cochinchina, Vietnam


Isolated SW population (Kaeng Krachan region of S Thailand, and adjacent Myanmar) said to differ vocally from (and appear longer-tailed than) birds in Vietnam, and the two do not respond to each other’s calls#R; further research desirable. Monotypic.


Extreme S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and adjacent SW Thailand; C Laos, Vietnam (Tonkin, N & C Annam and N Cochinchina) and Cambodia; and Hainan (S China).

Descriptive notes

32–35 cm; c. 138 g. Rather small, dark treepie with fairly long, graduated tail (of ten, not twelve, rectrices), rather stout bill with curved culmen; feathers of... read more


Quite varied vocabulary. Pair-members often call in duet, one giving incisive start followed by a... read more


Lowland and hill forests, chiefly dry broadleaf evergreen forests to at least 1500 m; also mixed... read more

Food and feeding

Surprisingly poorly known, with little precise information. Known to feed on variety of insects and other invertebrates. Observed singly,... read more


Little known. Eggs reported Apr–Jun. Solitary breeder. Nest built from twigs, with shallow cup; few nests found have been inside... read more


Sedentary, as far as is known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and not uncommon in Laos and Vietnam; little known in rest of range. Easily overlooked, being quite sluggish and rather unobtrusive in... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Ratchet-tailed Treepie (Temnurus temnurus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).