Blue-winged Leafbirds, the dominant species in bird waves

“This is from the family unit or foraging group of Blue-winged Leafbirds (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis). I followed this group of 6-7 during and after the bird wave/mixed foraging party. I was trying to identify the composition of the group – mixture of adult male, adult female, moulting female, immature.

“This is an adult female who allowed close observation while she was foraging for insect prey. Notice the turquoise malar stripe that is usually harder to see in the field (shadows of the canopy) (above).

“She spotted 2 insects on a leaf and went for them, allow us a chance top see the magnificent wings (above).

“They love to feed on large insects and will examine all dried/curled up leave in detail – an adult male with head buried in a leaf (above left), an immature prising open a leaf with the beak (above right), a young adult male investigating a dried leaf (below left) and an adult male with large insect prey that was branch swiped many times to kill it before feeding on it (below right).

“There was a bird that is moulting – either an adult female moulting or immature into female (below left).

“The leafbirds were the most prominent feature of this mixed foraging party; both in volume as well as in calls. One female in particular seemed to be the ‘drum master’ and called almost constantly throughout the period (stopping only to feed) (above right).

“he recording of calls of female during bird wave (river sounds muted, calls amplified) HERE.

“The composition of bird wave 22nd October 2011 (9.22-9.50 am): Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis saturatior) – more than 2, possibly 4; Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Anthreptes singalensis singalensis) – a family unit of 4; Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus maculates) – at least 1; Blue-winged Leafbirds (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis) – small flock of 6-7; Greater Green Leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati zosterops) – at least 2; and others.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
22nd October 2011

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve
Habitat: Trail through dense primary forest near a rushing stream

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