Omei Shan liocichla

Liocichla omeiensis

SUBFAMILY

Timaliinae

TAXONOMY

Liocichla omeiensis Riley, 1926, Mt. Emei, Sichuan. Only recently recognized as full species, distinct from Taiwanese endemic Steere's babbler (L. steerii).

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Mount Omei babbler; French: Garrulaxe de l'Omei; German: Omei-Haeherling.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7 in (17 cm). Gray with bright reddish orange pattern on wings, squared-off, red-tipped tail, red-and-black vent, yellowish ear coverts, dark eyes and bill.

DISTRIBUTION

The vicinity of Mt. Emei, southern Sichuan and northeastern Yunnan.

HABITAT

Mountain forests with bamboo stands.

BEHAVIOR

Noted for being not as shy as other babblers, but rather curious.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Small flocks forage for insects and fruits both in trees and on the ground.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Male displays to female by exposing bright colors on wings while vocalizing. Nest and eggs undescribed.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable. Still occurs in some numbers, but threatened both by bamboo shoot harvesting and other forms of habitat destruction, and by the cage-bird trade. Accorded CITES Appendix II status in 1997. Export from China prohibited in 2001.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Target species for ecotourists. ♦

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