(Last Updated on : 17-04-2015)
Iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a sparrow-sized arboreal bird commonly found in low and deciduous forests and semi-urban areas. It is the common species which dwells in forest and various other properly wooded areas. It is easily identified by its distinctive musical whistling calls. Ioras commonly live close to humans.
Physical Features and Breeding of Iora
The male Iora is bright black and yellow with two white wing-bars and the female Iora is chiefly yellowish green. Marshall's Iora, with much white in its tail, is confined to north-western India and Pakistan. About two to four eggs of greenish white in colour are laid in a small and loose, cup-shaped nest constructed by using grass, built in a tree
. At the time of breeding, the male Iora undertakes a display of acrobatic courtship, dashing upwards in the air and fluffing all of its feathers, mainly the pale green rump, and then coiling downwards to the perch. After landing on the perch, the male Iora spreads its tail and lolls his wings.
The length of the adult Common Iora is about twenty five centimetres. The breeding male Iora possesses a greenish or black upper part, and the under part is bright yellow in colour. The feathers for flight are blackish in colour with an obvious white wing bar, while the non-breeding male Ioras possess completely green upperparts. The female Ioras are somewhat close in appearance to the non-breeding male Ioras, but they are only differentiated because of their grey-black wings.
Habitat of Iora
The habitats of this Indian bird
include forest edge, acacia
scrub and closed forests, and also various lands for agriculture
and (in the Common Iora) gardens. These birds are normally lowland birds, and most of them reach as high as the sub mountain forests
. Ioras are birds which are very arboreal and normally occur in the tree canopy, and have very few records of this family of birds coming down to the ground. This bird family is largely non migratory, however, in the western parts of India there are a number of evidences that the White-tailed Ioras and Common Ioras are migratory to some extent in the seasonal semi-desert periphery.
Diet of Iora
Ioras love to eat insects and spiders. They find their food
by nimbly gleaning the leaves of the slenderest outer twigs.