Bluemasked leafbird

Chloropsis venusta

TAXONOMY

Phyllornis venusta Bonaparte, 1850, Sumatra.

H Resident

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Verdin a front bleu; German: Blaustirn-Blattvogel; Spanish: Verdín Enmascarado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.5 in (14 cm). Green plumage with blue forehead, cheek, and upper throat.

DISTRIBUTION

Sumatra.

HABITAT Hill forests.

BEHAVIOR

Presumed similar to other leafbirds.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Presumed typical of genus.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY Not known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened, due primarily to deforestation. Locally common in some parts of habitat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Potential "flagship" species to promote ecotourism in Suma-tran elevated forest. ♦

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Solidly built. 10 in (25 cm), 2.5 oz (75 g). Males have black un-derparts, wings, and tail; upperparts and undertail-coverts are a distinctive ultramarine blue. Females are a uniform dark turquoise-blue with black flight feathers. Both sexes have red eyes.

DISTRIBUTION

Coastal southern India, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Yunnan, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and western Philippine island of Palawan.

HABITAT

Primary and tall secondary forests.

BEHAVIOR

May occur in flocks of up to thirty birds, largely staying in upper canopy, though descending to bath in streams. Loud melodious whistles are typical.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

While known to eat insects and nectar, primarily fruit eaters, specializing in figs.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Nest is a loose platform of twigs, lined with fine plant materials, in fork of leafy tree. Clutch is two olive-gray, brown splotched eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, due to enormous range, but many populations are at risk due to forest destruction.

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