Head, throat, back, and breast, black; scapulars and belly white.
C. Pica, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 113, Garrulus Pious, Id. torn. III. p. 63. Magpie, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Must. vol. I. p. 358. pl. 31. f. 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 92.
Entire length eighteen inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch four lines, (from the gape) one inch eight lines; of the tarsus two inches one line; of the tail nine inches ten lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing seven inches eight lines: breadth, wings extended, twenty-three inches.
Head, throat, neck, upper part of the breast, back, vent, under tail-coverts, and thighs, deep velvet-black; the feathers on the throat rather loose and open, each tipped with a short bristle: scapulars, lower part of the breast, and belly, pure white: wings and tail greenish black, reflecting rich tints of purple, bronze, and blue, according to the position of the eye; the inner webs of the primaries with a large oblong white spot: tail very much cuneated, the length of the feathers rapidly decreasing: irides dark brown: bill and feet black. (Egg). Pale bluish white, spotted all over with ash-colour and two shades of greenish brown: long. diam. one inch four lines and a half; trans, diam. one inch.
A common and generally dispersed species. Frequents woods and thickets, but prefers those near adjoining to villages. Generally observed in pairs. Nest placed in a thick bush, or on the top of a lofty tree; of an oval shape, constructed of sticks closely interwoven with each other, the bottom plastered with clay, and lined with fibrous roots. Eggs six or seven in number, laid early in the Spring. Omnivorous.