Saturday, 13 December 2014

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)

Latin Etymology: Cyanopica ("lapis lazuli magpie") cyanus ("dark-blue")
 Azure-winged Magpie (subspecies C. c. japonicanear Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan - November 2014

Featured Subspecies: Cyanopica cyana japonica
Weight: 65-112g  /  Length: 31-35cm  /  Wingspan: 38cm
ABSENT FROM UK / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Azure-winged Magpie is a fairly small corvid with a similar shape to the Eurasian Magpie.  Until very recently, it was considered to be the same species as the near-identical looking birds found in Spain and Portugal - now know as the Iberian Azure-winged Magpie.  The species found in East Asia - specifically Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia and Russia is seemingly more abundant in its range, found right into urban areas in Japan.  I saw this species twice - firstly the photographed bird was near Tsukiji Fish Market, and then later a small party came through a park we were visiting.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanopica
Subspecies: C. c. cyanus, C. c. pallescens, C. c. koreensis, C. c. stegmanni, C. c. swinhoei, C. c. interposita, C. c. kansuensis, C. c. japonica

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Japanese - オナガ  /  o-naga  ("long-tail")
 Fairly common resident across Japan.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Single bird seen near Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo and briefly a flock of 3 at Kyu Yasuda Park, Tokyo

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto 

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