Bird Families

Chloropseidae, Leafbirds

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1. Appearance

The main color of the plumage is green. From the base of the beak there are blue "whiskers". In males, a black mask bordered in yellow on the face also occupies the upper part of the throat and a slightly curved beak. There is also a yellowish tint on the thighs and chest. Females have no mask, and the upper part of the throat is blue.

Active during the day. Meet singly, in pairs or in small groups. Omnivorous. They feed on insects and fruits, sometimes nectar. These birds breed throughout the year, with a peak between March and September in the north of the range and between November and May in the south. They form pairs for one season. The female builds a bowl-shaped nest between tree branches. There are 2 - 3 pink eggs in the nest. The female incubates. Incubation continues for about two weeks. Both parents take care of the offspring. Chicks become independent in about a month and a half.

2. Habitat

They prefer dense shrubs, dense evergreens and open deciduous areas. In search of nectar, birds pollinate the flowers of trees and shrubs. They fly in pairs or in small groups, feed on berries, and also hunt insects and spiders in dense foliage, writing various pirouettes in the air.

3. Singing

The songs are filled with whistles, repetitive sounds and clicking, and this is not only its own song, but also a very good imitation of the singing of other birds, such as dressmakers, red-faced real bulbul, black drongo, yors, red-billed alcyone, long-tailed shrike, magpie warbler. Since the various imitations follow each other in rapid succession, interspersed with its own singing, one C. jerdoni bird, well disguised in the foliage of the tree, will deceive the listener, giving the impression that there is a whole group of birds on this tree, since the singing continues even when the others the birds have already flown away.

Birds can be very decisive and even aggressive during the search for food, showing by all appearance that no one will be allowed on a tree where there is something to profit from.

4. Similar birds

In the leaflet family, there are several species that are very similar in appearance and live in India. Each species is mostly green plumage, small in size, with a medium length tail and a habit of flying in the upper or middle foliage. They all feed on fruits, insects and even nectar.

  • The blue-winged leaflet Chloropsis cochinchinensis is found in the northeastern lowlands and in the Kachar hills.
  • Chloropsis jerdoni is found throughout most of the peninsula.
  • The orange-bellied leaflet Chloropsis hardwickii is found only in the lower and middle Himalayas
  • Chloropsis aurifrons is widespread throughout the region, overlapping with all other subcontinental leaflets.
Differences
  • If the birds are mating, this often helps to identify the species, as the golden-fronted leaflets do not show the obvious sexual dimorphism that C. jerdoni exhibits.
  • Leaflet chicks are difficult to distinguish and often require the eye of a specialist to recognize multiple features before identification can be made.
  • Habitat can often indicate a species of leaflet bird. If it is a rainforest, then most likely there are golden-fronted leaflets, while in a dry desert area with scattered trees, it is likely only C. jerdoni. However, in many regions, such as the west coast, forests of central India, or parts of the eastern territories, both species can coexist with different proportions of abundance.

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