The Oriental Magpie Robin is the national birds of Bangladesh, and it’s also known as the Doyel. These birds are common in forests and urban gardens. Doyel is particularly famous for their songs. It is a widely used symbol in Bangladesh. It appears on the nation’s currency notes and also as a landmark (Doyel Square) in Dhaka City.
Known for its outstanding ability to imitate other bird-calls, this bird was once a famous cage bird. Sometimes, these birds were kept as pets. However, according to research, Doyel is at its best in the wild. Here is everything you may need to know about these birds.
They are the national birds of Bangladesh
In any list of interesting facts about Oriental Magpie Robin, this is certainly, the top fact. If you search on YouTube for more details about magpie Robins, you will find videos of these birds singing. Generally, these birds were widely kept as caged birds because of their singing abilities. But it makes me feel so bad to see such beautiful avians inside a small cage.
These national birds of Bangladesh are distinctive bland and white, with a relatively long tail that’s often held upright as they perch or forage on the ground. They are approximately 17 cm to 20 cm (about 17 inches) in length, including their tail.
The male Doyel has glossy black upperparts including throat and head. Their shoulders have a white patch. Its underparts and the sides of its beautiful, long tail are white. Besides, the male Doyel has dark eyes, and its feet and legs are blackish too. On the other hand, female Doyel is greyish black rather than glossy black as it is the case with males, and greyish white rather than white. Note that the young Oriental Magpie Robin has scaly brown head and underparts.
Oriental Magpie Robin’s habitat
These birds are majorly found in cultivated areas that are close to human habitats or even in the open woodlands. Often, they prefer living in open areas such as gardens, mangroves, or cultivated areas. Noted that you cannot find them in the deep forests.
During the non-breeding seasons, these birds are shy and tend to be quiet while skulking in undergrowth. Doyel is a tame and common bird. Studies have proved that it’s terrestrial and loves hopping from a tree to tree or on the ground with its amazing cocked tail. Oriental Magpie Robin is usually active late at dusk and sometimes bathe in the little rainwater that collects on various tree leaves.
Generally, Doyel is a resident breeder in southern Asia. Larger populations of this bird have been reported in Bangladesh. This could be one of the reasons Oriental Magpie Robin is recognized as the national Birds of Bangladesh. These birds are also found in interior parts of India, eastern Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, South China, Thailand, and Malaysia. Doyel has also been introduced to some parts of Australia.
Nesting and breeding
These birds breed primarily from January to June in south-east Asia and from March to July in India. During the breeding season, males tend to sing from high perches to attract females for courtship. They display themselves by puffing up their feathers. They also raise their tails, fan them and sometimes strut it.
Oriental Magpie Robin builds nests nearly everywhere including thick shrubs, branches of small trees, hollow trees, palms, and near human settlements. They can also construct their nests in a hole on your house walls, under the veranda, in stables, and even in old tin cans.
Female Doyel is more involved in nesting building, and this happens about a week or two before they begin laying eggs. These birds lay four to five eggs at intervals of a day (24 hours). The eggs are usually oval and are often pale blur green with brown speckles that tend to match the colour of the hay. The female Doyel incubates the eggs for eight to 15 days. The male can sometimes incubate the eggs.
These national birds of Bangladesh mainly feed on insects. While they are insectivorous, they are also known to take flower nectar occasionally, leeches, geckos, small fish, and centipedes.
Multiple studies show that Doyel bird species are considered to be of little concern worldwide. However, in some regions, the species is on the decline. Note that these birds have minimal avian predators too.
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