The Rufous Treepie is a member of the Corvidae (crow) family. It is long tailed and has loud musical calls making it very conspicuous. The sexes are alike and the main colour of the body is cinnamon with a black head and the long graduated tail is bluish grey and is tipped in black. The wing has a white patch. The bill is stout with a hooked tip. The underparts and lower back are a warm tawny-brown to orange-brown in colour with white wing coverts and black primaries. The bill, legs and feet are black.
Seen near Ashtamudi Lake.
The Rufous Treepie is an arboreal omnivore feeding almost completely in trees on fruits, seeds, invertebrates, small reptiles and the eggs and young of birds; it has also been known to take flesh from recently killed carcasses. Like other corvids it is very adaptable, omnivorous and opportunistic in feeding. It has been observed feeding on ecto-parasites of wild deer. They have been considered to be beneficial to palm cultivation in southern India due to their foraging on the grubs of the destructive weevil. They are known to feed on the fruits of Trichosanthes palmata which are toxic to mammals.