Bluewinged leafbird

Chloropsis cochinchinensis

TAXONOMY

Turdus cochinchinensis Gmelin, 1788, Cochinchina (Vietnam). OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Jerdon's leafbird, yellow-headed leafbird, gold-mantled chloropsis; French: Verdin à tête jaune; German: Blauflügel-Blattvogel; Spanish: Verdín de Alas Azules.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.5-7 in (16-17.5 cm). Most subspecific variation in family: head color varies from green to yellow and primaries may be blue or green. Distinctive blue outer tail and patch on cheek. Black throat patch in males.

DISTRIBUTION

Peninsular India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Assam, southern Yunnan, Myanmar, all of Indochina and the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and smaller islands.

HABITAT

Favors groves and trees around villages and fields in India. Indonesian and Malaysian populations occur in woodland, and primary and tall secondary forest, up to 4,900 ft (1500 m).

BEHAVIOR

Indian specimens are aggressive and territorial. Indonesian varieties are more social among other species, appearing singly or in pairs, sometimes in groups.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Enthusiastic nectar feeders, especially from red flowers, serving as major pollinators. Also eat insects and small fruits, especially mistletoe.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Breeding season more or less from April to August. Nest is a loose, shallow cup composed of fine plant material, plaster on the exterior with cobwebs. Two or three pinkish or creamy-white eggs with variously colored specks, blotches and hair-streaks.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but some southern subspecies are in areas of intense habitat loss. Species fairly popular in the cage bird trade.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Important pollinator of flowering trees, but may also spread mistletoe. Traditional caged songbird in India and other Asian countries. Significant international trade, especially in Suma-tran yellow-headed subspecies. ♦

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