White-bellied treepie

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White-bellied treepie
White bellied treepie Thattekad.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Dendrocitta
Species: D. leucogastra
Binomial name
Dendrocitta leucogastra
Gould, 1833[2]
Dendrocitta leucogastra map.png

The white-bellied treepie (Dendrocitta leucogastra) is a bird of the crow family endemic to the forests of southern India. They overlap in distribution in some areas with the rufous treepie but are easily to tell apart both from appearance and call.


The white of the head and body makes it easy to distinguish from the sympatric rufous treepie. This tends to be found in more dense forest and is less associated with human habitation than the rufous treepie.[3]

Calls (Recorded in Wayanad)

When calling, the bird bows and droops its wings. Several birds may arrive at one tree and call repeatedly during the pre-monsoon breeding season (mainly April–May but some nests from February). The nest is a platform of twigs on a medium-sized tree. Three eggs are laid, ashy grey with green and grey blotches.[4][5]

It is associated with mixed-species foraging flocks and is often found along with greater racket-tailed drongos.[3]


It is found in the forests of the Western Ghats mainly south of Goa.[6] A record from Erimalai near Dharmapuri[7] and reports from the Surat Dangs and the southeastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh stand outside its main distribution range. A record from central India (Chikalda, Gawilgarh[5]) has been questioned.[3]

Illustration by John Gould, 1835


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Dendrocitta leucogastra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Gould, J. (1835). "X. On a new Genus in the Family of Corvidae". Transactions of the Zoological Society of London. 1: 87–90. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1835.tb00606.x. 
  3. ^ a b c Rasmussen, PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. p. 596. 
  4. ^ Hume, A O (1889). The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds. Volume 1. R H Porter, London. p. 22. 
  5. ^ a b Baker, ECS (1922). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Birds. Volume 1 (2 ed.). Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 51–52. 
  6. ^ Daniels, R J Ranjit, NV Joshi & Madhav Gadgil (1992). "On the relationship between bird and woody plant species diversity in the Uttara Kannada district of south India" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 89 (12): 5311–5315. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.12.5311. PMC 49281free to read. PMID 11607298. 
  7. ^ Daniels, R.J.R. & MV Ravikumar (1997). "Birds of Erimalai". Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 37 (5): 80–82.