Nesting habits of the Oriental Magpie Robin

posted in: Nesting | 3

Mike Tan a.k.a. woof documented a pair of Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) nesting in an abandoned cavity in a rotting tree trunk. There were two chicks and an adult was seen feeding them (below).


The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) is one bird that builds its nest in a variety of places. These include shallow cavities that develop at the tops of rotting palm trunks and tree stumps. Less often, nests are seen among vegetation like the axils of coconut palms fronds, epiphytic ferns, in shrubs and according to Wells (1999), on a banana fruit-bunch.

According to Jz, “They build their nests almost anywhere from thick shrubs, in the fork of branches of small trees, palms (at the base of the palm frond), hollow trees and even near human habitation: under a veranda, in a hole in the wall, in an old tin can, and in stables. Nests are usually built low. Their nests are large, untidy, shallow cups loosely made from grass or dried leaves, twigs, moss, roots.”

Mike Tan
August 2008

Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

3 Responses

  1. See Toh

    Successful recovery of the Oriental Magpie Robin (OMR) in Singapore?

    I believed the OMR is making a remarkable comeback in Singapore after the re-introduction efforts by NParks.

    In Botanic Garden at least, there is a resident pair that could always be spotted at the public toilet near Swan Lake.

    Then on 1 Apr 2009 (not April Fool prank) at around 6:40 pm, I spotted a pair of OMR at the NPark HQ Carpark making very loud chirping calls uncharacteristics of the melodic call. Upon chose scrutiny of the area, I saw 3 fledgings (recognizable from their short tail, messy plummages with white wing bars) perching separately on the branches and waiting to be fed. The fledgings are able to fly already. I also saw one parent feeding the fledging with some sort of an insect that resembled a small dragonfly but could not confirm as the light condition was bad then.

    I would say that this really spells good for the re-establishment of this resident specie in Singapore despite stiff competition from Javan Mynas.

  2. Malaikat Jahad

    I live in central Bangkok and have a pair of magpie-robins that nest biannually on my 5th floor balcony. Does anyone know if this is unusually high off the ground for magpie-robins?

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