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magpie-robin

any of eight species of chat-thrushes, belonging to the family Turdidae (order Passeriformes), found in southern Asia. They are 18 to 28 cm (7 to 11 inches) long, with pied plumage and attenuated tails-small replicas of magpies. The uptilted tail is frequently lowered and fanned. Magpie-robins hunt insects on the ground and are exceptionally fine singers. Some are popular cage and aviary birds-for example, the dyal (Copsychus saularis, also spelled dayal, or dhyal), a blue-black and white species, 20 cm long, prized for its rich song. Other Copsychus species are often called shama. The white-rumped shama (C. malabaricus) is a long-tailed species native to China and Southeast Asia and introduced in Hawaii

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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