Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa flavirostris)


French: Pirolle à bec jaune German: Gelbschnabelkitta Spanish: Urraca piquigualda
Other common names: Gold-billed Magpie

Psilorhinus flavirostris


, 1846,

Darjeeling, India


Race cucullata intergrades with nominate in C Nepal. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • U. f. cucullata Gould, 1861 – N Pakistan (from Hazara) E through NW India to W Nepal.
  • U. f. flavirostris (Blyth, 1846) – E Nepal E to Bhutan, NE India and N Myanmar, also in adjacent S China (extreme SE Xizang, W Yunnan).
  • U. f. schaeferi Sick, 1939 – W Myanmar (Chin Hills).
  • U. f. robini Delacour & Jabouille, 1930 – extreme N Vietnam (NW Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    55–61 cm; 123–180 g. ­Distinctive black-hooded, pale-billed blue-and-white magpie with very long, strongly graduated tail, central pair of rectrices... read more


    Quite a loud and varied vocabulary, but difficult to interpret differences from U.... read more


    Moist deciduous and mixed temperate forests with oaks (Quercus), chestnuts (Castanea... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous, but mainly carnivorous. Takes all manner of invertebrates, small vertebrates and various fruits and berries; scavenges other... read more


    Season late Apr to early Jul, with eggs reported mid-May and Jun. Most likely a solitary breeder with long-term pair-bond; could be a... read more


    Mostly sedentary. Those inhabiting higher montane forests move to lower elevations in winter if... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common over most of range, although at extreme W limits in Pakistan not well known. Races robini of NW Vietnam and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Yellow-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa flavirostris). 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 16 June 2019).