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Common Iora

From Opus

Photo by Rakesh Ponda, Goa, India, October 2006
Photo by Rakesh
Ponda, Goa, India, October 2006

Alternative names: Indian Iora, Black-winged Iora, Small Iora, Ceylon Iora (multicolor)

Aegithina tiphia


[edit] Identification

12.5 - 13.5cm. A small, chunky bird.

[edit] Male

  • Black wing and tail
  • Large white wing-bar
  • Bright yellow underparts
  • Pale eyes
  • Mantle green (tiphia) to black (multicolor, humei)
  • Non-breeding male like females

[edit] Female

  • Dull olive green upperparts
  • Duller yellow underparts

Immatures are greener below

FemalePhoto by kctsangSingapore, February 2006
Photo by kctsang
Singapore, February 2006

[edit] Similar Species

From Green Iora by bright yellow to yellowish underparts.
From Marshall's Iora by lack of pale tips on tail and narrower white edges on blackish tertial centres.

[edit] Distribution

India, southern China and Myanmar through South-East Asia to the Greater Sundas, Bali and Palawan (Philippines).
Common in most of its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

Sometimes considered conspecific with Marshall's Iora.

[edit] Subspecies

JuvenilePhoto by jweeyhSingapore, September 2006
Photo by jweeyh
Singapore, September 2006

There are 11 subspecies[1]:

  • A. t. multicolor: Southern India and Sri Lanka
  • A. t. deignani: Peninsular India to northern and central Burma
  • A. t. humei: Central India (south of the Ganges River)
  • A. t. tiphia: North-eastern India (Kumaon to Bengal and Assam)
  • A. t. septentrionalis: Pakistan and north-western India (Punjab)
  • A. t. philipi: South-western China to central Burma, northern Thailand, Laos and northern Vietnam
  • A. t. cambodiana: Cambodia to south-eastern Thailand and southern Vietnam
  • A. t. horizoptera: Southern Burma to Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and adjacent islands
  • A. t. scapularis: Java and Bali
  • A. t. viridis: Southern Borneo
  • A. t. aequanimis: Northern Borneo, adjacent northern islands and Palawan

Four additional subspecies, trudiae, micromelaena, djungkulanensis and singapurensis are generally considered invalid[2]

[edit] Habitat

male ssp multicolorPhoto by Steve GTissa Tank, Sri Lanka, July 2009
male ssp multicolor
Photo by Steve G
Tissa Tank, Sri Lanka, July 2009

Mangroves, open country, scrubs, forested river banks, plantations and gardens.
Usually found in the lowlands. Up to 2000m in the Himalayas.

[edit] Behaviour

Frequents the tree tops usually in pairs.

[edit] Diet

Gleans insects from the foliage and branches.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from December to September in India. The nest is placed 1-10m above the ground in a fork or directly on the bark surface. Lays 2-3 eggs.
Brood parasitism by Banded Bay Cuckoo common.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-Shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334726
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  4. Avibase

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