The white-eared lyotrix is a small, olive-gray bird known at once under two names - the silver-eared messiah and the white-eared lyotrix. She is easily distinguished from other species by a black cap on her head, a black mustache and silvery cheeks.
The white-eared lyotrix is easy to recognize: the crimson tips of the wings and tail are visible on the olive body. And gray feathers on the ears gave the name to the species - the silver-eared messiah.
The male has a yellow forehead, throat and chest of a bright yellow-orange color. The back is covered with gray-black feathers with an ash tint.
The wings have a wide yellow stripe with a separate red circular spot. The long tail is completely black. Tail shape with a square end, not forked. Uppertail and tips of feathers are bright crimson. The feather cover of the female is similar to the outfit of the partner, but her upper tail is brown, and the feathers are yellow-olive.
Young lyotrixes are similar to adult birds, except that the upper feathers are yellowish. Compared to their parents, they look more modest.
After a few months, the chicks molt and eventually, after 3 molts, they acquire plumage, like in adult lyotrix. The iris ranges from brown to reddish brown. The beak is orange with a brown base. Legs are yellowish.
White-eared lyotrix (Leiothrix argentauris).
White-eared lyotrixes in the rainforest are easily distinguished from other bird species by their incessant chirping, which is sometimes animated by a clear and prolonged hiss. These songs are sometimes accompanied by loud screams. White-eared lyotrixes often flap their wings when singing.
Distribution of lyotrix buoyant
White-eared Litrix is found in a vast territory from Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Indonesia to Vietnam and China. Seven subspecies of birds live in the Himalayas in northeastern India (Darjeeling, Sikkim, NEFA), Nepal and Bhutan. The habitat covers Burma, South China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Malay Peninsula. Two subspecies live on the islands of Sumatra, Indonesia.
White-eared lyotrix are ubiquitous: in the mountains, on the plains, in the forests and in the fields.
Habitats of white-eared lyotrix
White-eared lyotrixes inhabit mostly open landscapes. They live in the jungle, among small shrubs, regenerated forests, in thickets of shrubs that make up the forest undergrowth. In the forests, these birds can be seen at the edge of the clearing, and in more rarefied places. They inhabit wastelands, abandoned gardens and tea plantations. In the mountains, they rise to a height of 2100 meters above sea level.
Features of the behavior of the white-eared lyotrix
White-eared lyotrixes live in groups of 6 to 30 birds or more. They hide in bushes in the forest, but sometimes they rise to considerable heights almost to mountain peaks.
Lyotrixes like to hide in thickets of bushes.
White-eared lyotrixes are very active birds that are constantly looking for insects in the foliage. They assume inconceivable acrobatic postures when they examine the underside of the leaves, resembling beads strung on branches. When moving from one tree to another, white-eared lyorixes move randomly, accompanying the movement with a light, barely audible chirp. They create the impression of extremely fussy birds, always in a hurry about their avian business. Sometimes they make combat missions in pursuit of their enemies. Since April, the birds form pairs, the behavior of the white-eared lyotrix becomes very restrained. During this period, it is very difficult to observe the behavior of birds in nature.
In summer, they are sedentary birds, but in winter they move from high-altitude regions. During the movement of birds, observers are particularly impressed by the so-called "waves" - large flocks, in which birds unite in flight with other thymelia. Silver-eared mesias spend most of their time on the ground. Walking along the forest floor, restless birds look under fallen leaves, looking for insects, or pick up fallen fruits, less often seeds. From time to time, they fly up trees, to a height of no higher than five meters.
Since April, the birds form pairs, the behavior of the white-eared lyotrix becomes very restrained.
Reproduction of the white-eared lyotrix
The breeding season lasts from April to August. The nest is a bowl with an average diameter of 8.5 cm and a depth of 8 cm. It is built with bamboo leaves and other plant materials such as grass and moss. Hardworking birds build it in four days. A tray of about 6 cm is lined with small roots. The nest is located in bushes at a height of no more than 2 meters above the ground, sometimes it is only a few centimeters above the ground. The female usually lays two to five white eggs with brown specks. Both parents incubate, the female takes turns with the male.
The incubation period lasts from the first egg to 14 days. Chicks are born two weeks later. During this period, both parents do not leave the nest, but sometimes they inadvertently take off, alarmed by the noisy behavior of their fastidious relatives. In the first month of life, while the offspring is not yet strong, the parents take all the care of the offspring's food. After twelve days, the chicks begin their first flights. White-eared Lyotrix eats mixed food. Birds consume insects, seeds, berries.
White-eared lyotrix feed on insects, seeds, berries.
Conservation status of lyotrix
The white-eared lyotrix is a fairly common bird in its region. The silver-eared messiah is classified as the species with the least threat.
Keeping white-eared lyotrix in captivity
White-eared Lyotrix is especially appreciated by bird lovers when kept in an aviary with other birds. It is quite often caught and exported to Europe and the United States of America, where lyotrix is sold at a pet store called the silver-eared messiah.
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