The leafbirds (Chloropseidae) are a family of small passerine bird species found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. As presently defined, the leafbird family is monogeneric, with all species placed in the genus Chloropsis.
leafbirds are brightly plumaged, with the predominant green over the body giving rise to their common name. The family is mostly sexually dimorphic in their plumage, this can vary from the highly dimorphic orange-bellied leafbird to the Philippine leafbird, which exhibits no sexual dimorphism. Most of the differences between the sexes are in the extent of the other colours in the plumage, particularly in the colours around the head and the blue or black face mask, with females have less colour and a less extensive (or absent) mask. Some species have blue on the wings and tail. The plumage of juvenile birds is a duller version of the female’s.
Most are restricted to evergreen forests except the golden-fronted leafbird and Jerdon’s leafbird which live in deciduous monsoon forests, and the orange-bellied leafbird, which occurs in deciduous forests. Within this requirement, they occupy all broadleaf forest types in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
To human ears, their songs are melodious, and several species are good mimics. The calls include whistles and chatters.
Leafbirds are always found in trees and shrubs.
They feed on fruits, insects and even nectar.
There are four species of leafbirds (also known as chloropsis) found in India and they never fail to enthral a birder. Each of them is largely green, slender in build, with a medium-length tail and the habit of dwelling in the top or mid-canopy.
*The Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii is restricted to the lower and middle Himalayas.
*The Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis is found in the North-eastern lowlands (and further up in the Cachar Hills as well), while the very similar (and recently split from Blue-winged).
*Jerdon’s Leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni is found throughout much of the peninsula.
*The Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons is widespread across the entire region, overlapping in range with all the other subcontinental leafbirds.
All leafbirds may sounds extremely similar to the untrained ear. Most calls are a mixture of harsh and sweet notes with some differences in quality. Leafbirds are also excellent mimics and often have an impressive repertoire of sounds that may cause confusion amongst several birders!
Jerdon’s leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni) is a species of leafbird found in forest and woodland in India and Sri Lanka. Its name honours Thomas C. Jerdon. It has traditionally been considered a subspecies of the blue-winged leafbird (C. cochinchinensis), but differ in measurements and morphology, it lacking the blue flight feathers for which the blue-winged leafbird was named.
It builds its nest in a tree, and lays 2–3 eggs. This species eats insects, fruit and nectar.
The male is green-bodied with a yellow-tinged head, black face and throat. It has a blue moustachial line.
The female differs in that it has a greener head and blue throat.
young birds are like the female but without the blue throat patch.
Like other leafbirds, the call of Jerdon’s leafbird consists of a rich mixture of imitations of the calls of various other species of birds.
Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Grimmett *Inskipp*Inskipp
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