Urocissa is a genus of birds in the family Corvidae, a family which contains the crows, jays and magpies.

Urocissa caerulea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Urocissa
Cabanis, 1850

The genus was established by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis in 1850.[1][lower-alpha 1] The type species was subsequently designated as the red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythroryncha).[4] The name Urocissa combines the Ancient Greek oura meaning "tail" and kissa meaning "magpie" .[5]

The genus contains five species:[6]

ImageScientific nameCommon NameDistribution
Urocissa caeruleaTaiwan blue magpieTaiwan
Urocissa erythrorynchaRed-billed blue magpieWestern Himalayas eastwards into Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
Urocissa flavirostrisYellow-billed blue magpieIndian Subcontinent including the lower Himalayas, with a disjunct population in Vietnam
Urocissa ornataSri Lanka blue magpieSri Lanka
Urocissa whiteheadiWhite-winged magpieSouthern China, northern Vietnam, and north and central Laos


  1. Some taxonomists date the publication of Cabanis's description to 1851.[2][3]


  1. Cabanis, Jean (1850–1851). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (in German and Latin). Volume 1. Halbertstadt: R. Frantz. p. 87.
  2. Dickinson, E.C.; Overstreet, L.K.; Dowsett, R.J.; Bruce, M.D. (2011). Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology: a Directory to the literature and its reviewers. Northampton, UK: Aves Press. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-0-9568611-1-5.
  3. Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.
  4. Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 240.
  5. Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 397. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  • Media related to Urocissa at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Urocissa at Wikispecies
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