White-winged Magpies

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The White-winged Magpie (Urocissa whiteheadi) is a passerine bird of the crow family, Corvidae. The binomial commemorates the British explorer John Whitehead.


Description

It is unusual among the members of its genus in that it is black and white, lacking the blue plumage other Urocissa magpies have. Thus, it is sometimes placed in its own monotypic genus, Cissopica, though it appears to have sufficient features to remain in the Urocissa genus.


Subspecies and Ranges

There are two subspecies, the nominate whiteheadi being found in Hainan and xanthomelana found in southern China, northern Vietnam, and north and central Laos. The two subspecies are distinctive and may merit specific status; further research is needed.


References

  • BirdLife International (2004). Urocissa whiteheadi. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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