Feeding ecology and diet

Though ioras have been observed to eat some fruit, they are avid arthropod hunters. Salim Ali describes them foraging through trees, hunting "in the foliage in pairs for caterpillars, moths and spiders, hopping from twig to twig and often hanging upside down in other acrobatic postures among the leaves." Studying bird communities of the dipterocarp forests of north-central Myanmar in the 1990s, David King and John Rappole found common ioras (Aegithina tiphia) were regular components in what they designated "woodshrike flocks," otherwise typically consisting of wood-shrikes, fan-tails, tits, minivets, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. With the wood-shrikes and minivets, ioras are species that most often initiate a relocation of a flock.

The members of the genus Chloropsis are well-known nectar-feeders. Leafbirds are highly effective pollinators. Groves of appropriate trees around villages have proved very attractive to leafbirds, making them familiar to people. They also hunt insects and spiders and eat small fruits, especially those of the oriental mistletoes (Loranthus sp.).

The abundance of wild fig species that are so important a feature of the southeast Asian forest ecology, are a major com ponent of the diet of fairy bluebirds, flocks of which join the great assemblages of hornbills, fruit pigeons, orangutans, and other animals feasting on one tree after another. Fairy bluebirds will also eat berries from fairly low bushes. They also consume nectar and insects.

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