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Common Iora - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Rakesh
Ponda, Goa, India, October 2006

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

Aegithina tiphia

Identification

12.5 - 13.5cm. A small, chunky bird.

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

Female

  • Dull olive green upperparts
  • Duller yellow underparts

Immatures are greener below

Female
Photo by kctsang
Singapore, February 2006

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.

Distribution

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

Taxonomy

Sometimes considered conspecific with Marshall's Iora.

Subspecies

Juvenile
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[4]

Habitat

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.

Behaviour

Frequents the tree tops usually in pairs.

Diet

Gleans insects from the foliage and branches.

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.

Photo © by hindleygreener
North Goa, India, 20 November 2019

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  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

Recommended Citation

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