The Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornate) was first described in 1829 by Wagler and is a member of the crow family – the Corvidae. Crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and nutcrackers all belong to this family. Birds in the family Corvidae are considered the most intelligent birds in the world. The family Urocissa consists of five species, distributed throughout Asia, with the Sri Lankan blue magpie being endemic to Sri Lanka. This family (Urocissa) consists of some of the most brightly coloured birds in the world, and definitely the most brightly coloured in the family Corvidae.
Sri Lanka honoured the blue magpie by dedicating a postage stamp which was in circulation in the 1980’s and the early 1990’s.
The blue magpie is found in small groups of 3-7 birds. Their nest, usually situated on a tree or shrub, is made of sticks and is somewhat similar to the crow’s nest. They lay between 3-5 eggs, which are white with brown mottling.