Blue-winged Leafbirds

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Blue-winged Leafbird , male

The Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) is known by a variety of names, including: Blue-winged Chloropsis, Golden-hooded Leafbird, Golden-mantled Leafbird or Golden-mantled Chloropsis.


Alternate (Global) Names:

Czech: sýkavka modrok?ídlá, Sýkavka žlutohlavá ... strong>Danish: Blåvinget Bladfugl ... Dutch: Blauwvleugelbladvogel, Blauwvleugel-bladvogel ... German: Blauflügel-Blattvogel ... Finnish: Sinisiipilehvi ... French: Verdin à tête jaune ... Indonesian: Burung daun sayap biru, Cicadaun Sayap-biru ... Italian: Fogliarolo aliazzurre, Verdino aliazzurre ... Japanese: akabanekonohadori, aobanekonohadori ... Malay: Burung Daun Sayap Biru ... Norwegian: Blåvingebladfugl ... Polish: zielenik blekitnoskrzydly, zielenik b??kitnoskrzyd?y ... Russian: ?????????? ???????? ... Slovak: zelenácik modrokrídly ... Spanish: Verdín de Alas Azules ... Swedish: Blåvingad bladfågel


Female Blue-winged Leafbird, Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis

Distribution:

The Blue-winged Leafbirds occur naturally in far north-eastern India and throughout Southeast Asia as far east as Borneo and as far south as Java, where they are found in forests and second growth. Leafbirds usually remain high up in the canopy of trees searching for insects to feed on. They are fairly common throughout most of their range.


Subspecies and Ranges:

Many authorities include the Jerdon's Leafbirds from the Indian Subcontinent and the Bornean Leafbirds from northern Borneo as subspecies, however, they differ in size as well as plumage colorations. The Jerdon Leafbirds lack any blue to the flight feathers and the male and female Bornean Leafbirds look alike. The Blue-winged and the Bornean Leafbird don't appear to interbreed.

  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis cochinchinensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Nominate Form
    • Range: Java Islands
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis chlorocephala (Walden, 1871)
    • Range: Found in extreme eastern Bangladesh and northeastern India (Assam) east to Myanmar and western Thailand
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis kinneari (B. P. Hall and Deignan, 1956)
    • Range: Southern China (south Yunnan), northern Indochina and northeastern Thailand.
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis auropectus (Wells et al., 2003)
    • Range: Southeastern Thailand and southern Indochina.
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis serithai (Deignan, 1946)
    • Range: Northern Malay Peninsula
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis (J. E. Gray, 1831)
    • Range: Southern Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and satellites and northern Natuna Islands.
  • Chloropsis cochinchinensis viridinucha (Sharpe, 1877)
    • Range: Borneo Island (except far north)

Description

The male has a mostly green plumage, except for a yellow-tinged head, black face and throat; and the blue moustachial line.

The female has a greener head and blue throat.

Juveniles look like females, except they lack the blue throat patch.

They have forked, brush-tipped tongues and fairly hefty, straight to lightly down-curved bills with stiff, hair-like feathers at the base that protect their eyes from the legs and wings of their insect prey.

Similar Species:

They resemble the Golden-fronted Leafbird - however, the latter lacks the blue in the flight feathers and tail, and has a golden forehead.


Nesting / Breeding

Leafbirds build open cup-shaped nests out of fine stems, leaf parts and rootlets. These nests are typically placed on the ends of branches near the tree crown; although some may hang from thin horizontal shoots of trees, or they are attached to a pair of vertical twigs. The average clutch consists of 2 - 3 pinkish eggs. The incubation lasts about 14 days and is performed by the female alone, while the male feeds the brooding female. Even though unconfirmed, it appears likely, that the male also helps raise the young.


Diet / Feeding

Leafbirds typically forage alone or in pairs in the subcanopy; but some species may occasionally join mixed feeding flocks, while other species defend their feeding territories.

They feed on mostly insects, as well as taking fruits, berries and nectar.

Insects: Their long sharp beaks are curved down slightly and a brush tipped tongue, helping them to pick insects from the bark and leaves of trees. They will also pursue flushed prey into the air or down to the forest floor.

Nectar: Their spiked tongues are well adapted for taking nectar from tubular flowers, such as the Rhabdornis of the Philippines. Like hummingbirds, they will hover in front of a flower while retrieving the nectar. In the process of feeding, the flowers benefit from cross-pollination as the leafbird's head becomes covered with pollen and spreads from flower to flower. As they move to the next flower, the pollen is deposited on the next flower, which is then able to produce seeds and fruit. Many native plants rely on them for pollination and would not be able to exist without the "services" inadvertently rendered by the leafbirds.

Fruits: Usually, leafbirds swallow pieces of fruit whole. If this isn't possible, they will pierce the fruits with their beaks and let the juices leak into their mouths.


Calls / Vocalizations

The calls of the Blue-winged Leafbird consist of a mixture of imitations of the calls of various other bird species that occur in its environment.


Alternate Name: Yellow-headed Leafbirds

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson



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