This beautiful bird has a black face and white underparts. The top of its folded wings is pale orange in colour and the bottom is black. It has a fairly long white tail tipped with black. It inhabits the Western Ghats and is found well away from human habitation.
We saw this bird in Thattekad, Kerala. As it is very similar to the rufous treepie, even our guide got confused. As it ventured deeper into the forest, to get a good picture of it, we strayed from the path and followed it inside.
While giving out its shrieking call, the bird bows and droops its wings. Many birds arrive and 1 good tree and call repeatedly during the pre-monsoon breeding season. Its nest is a platform of twigs. Usually, only 3 eggs are laid per mating season.
This bird eats a variety of foods ranging from fruit, seeds and nectar to invertebrates, reptiles and rodents. It forages for food along with other birds, especially the greater racket-tailed drongos.