Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornata)

The Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is an endangered and endemic bird known as “Kehibella” in native Sinhala language and found in dense wet evergreen temperate rainforests in Sri Lanka including Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. It makes a loud chink-chink and a rasping krak-krak-krak-krak sound. Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is usually found in small groups of up to sx or seven birds. It is largely carnivorous, eating small frogs, lizards, insects and other invertebrates, but will also eat fruit.

The cup-shaped stick nest is in a tree or shrub and there are usually 3-5 eggs laid. The eggs are white heavily spotted with brown. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young with only the female incbating them.

The Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is about the same size as the European Magpie at 42-47 cm. The adults are blue with chestnut head and wings, and a long white-tipped tail. The legs and bill are red.

The population of Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is declining due to loss of habitat. Primary causes of habitat loss is deforestation due to encroaching tea plantations, illegal land grab within their native forests, logging in and around Sinharaja rainforest and destruction of rainforest ecosystem for the construction of mini-hydro projects.

Rainforest Protectors Trust is actively engaged in creating a protected buffer zone for Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest through purchase of privately held forest lands bordering Sinharaja rainforest that are in danger of deforestation and long-term conservation of these forest lands. Additionally, we are educating the villagers and the general public on the importance of protecting Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. We urge everyone to check out the current projects and support our conservation efforts.