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Common iora, Aegithina tiphia, นกขมิ้นน้อยธรรมดา

The Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a small passerine bird found across the tropical Indian subcontinent with populations showing plumage variations, some of which are designated as subspecies. A species found in scrub and forest, it is easily detected from its loud whistles and the bright colours. During the breeding season, males display by fluffing up their feathers and spiral in the air appearing like a green, black, yellow and white ball.

Range map from

Ornithological Portal
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Ioras have a pointed and notched beak with a culmen that is straight. The Common Iora is sexually dimorphic, males in the breeding season have a black cap and back adding to a black wing and tail at all seasons.

Females have greenish wings and an olive tail. The undersides of both are yellow and the two white bars on the wings of the male are particularly prominent in their breeding plumage.

The males in breeding plumage have a very variable distribution of the black on the upperparts and can be confused with Marshall's iora, however, the latter always has white tips to the tail.

Length: 14 cm
Weight: 12 - 17 g
Distinctive Feature

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.

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male / Juvenile

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.

The nominate subspecies is found along the Himalayas and males of this population are very similar to females or have only a small amount of black on the crown. In northwestern India, septentrionalis is brighter yellow than others and in the northern plains of India humei males in breeding plumage have a black cap and olive on the upper mantle.

In southwestern India and Sri Lanka multicolor has the breeding males with a jet black cap and mantle.

The forms in the rest of southern India are intermediate between multicolor and humei with more grey-green on the rump (formerly considered as deignani but now used for the Burmese population).

Several other populations across Southeast Asia are designated as subspecies including philipi of southern China and northern Thailand/Laos, deignani of Myanmar, horizoptera of southern Myanmar and the island chain of Sumatra, cambodiana of Cambodia, aeqanimis of Palawan and northern Borneo, viridis of Borneo and scapularis of Java and Bali

Behaviour and ecology
Ioras forage in trees in small groups, gleaning among the branches for insects. They sometimes join mixed species feeding flocks. The call is a mixture of churrs, chattering and whistles, and the song is a trilled wheeeee-tee. They may sometimes imitate the calls of other birds such as drongos.


verb [no OBJ.] (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions: gulls are equipped by nature to forage for food.
• [with OBJ.] obtain (food or provisions): a girl foraging grass for oxen.
• [with OBJ.] obtain food or provisions from (a place).
• [with OBJ.] archaic supply (an animal or person) with food.

1 [MASS NOUN] bulky food such as grass or hay for horses and cattle; fodder.
2 [in SING.] a wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions: the nightly forage produces things which can be sold.

During the breeding season, mainly after the monsoons, the male performs an acrobatic courtship display, darting up into the air fluffing up all his feathers, especially those on the pale green rump, then spiralling down to the original perch. Once he lands, he spreads his tail and droops his wings.

Two to four greenish white eggs are laid in a small and compact cup-shaped nest made out of grass and bound with cobwebs and placed in the fork of a tree.

Both male and female incubate and eggs hatch after about 14 days. Nests predators include snakes, lizards, crow-pheasant and crows. Nests may also be brood-parasitized by the banded bay cuckoo.

Ioras moult twice in a year and the plumage variation makes them somewhat complicated for plumage based separation of the populations.

A species of Haemoproteus, H. aethiginae, was described from a specimen of the Common Iora from Goa.

Listen to the Common iora

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder. High Pass Filter applied with Audacity

Sitting on a branch and the bird only gave short calls but I managed to record one call

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder. High Pass filter applied with Audacity

Thanks to Grahame Walbridge at birdforum for confirming my ID. See thread in birdforum:

A video I took 26 June 2017 - Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Conservation status
Common iora, Aegithina tiphia, นกขมิ้นน้อยธรรมดา
Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2.
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 26 June 2017
Location: Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur

Common iora, Aegithina tiphia, นกขมิ้นน้อยธรรมดา

PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



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