Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Aegithinidae

Iora
Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea ©Glen Valentine Website

The ioras Aegithinidae are a small family of four passerine bird species found in Pakistan and southeast Asia. They are one of only three bird families that are entirely endemic to the Indo-malayan ecozone. They were formerly grouped with the other two of those groups, the leafbirds and fairy-bluebirds, in Irenidae.

They are small to medium small sized passerines, ranging from 11.5 to 15.5 cm in length. Overall the males are larger than the females. These are reminiscent of the bulbuls, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, the ioras are more brightly coloured. The group exhibits sexual dimorphism in its plumage, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. Unlike the leafbirds, ioras have thin legs, and their bills are proportionately longer. Calls are strident whistles; songs are musical to human ears.

Their habitats include acacia scrub, forest edge, and closed forests, as well as agricultural land and (in the common iora) gardens. They are mostly lowland birds, with most reaching only as high as the submontane forests. They are generally highly arboreal and usually occur in the tree canopy, with only very rare records of this family coming down to the ground. Ioras eat insects and spiders, which they find by nimbly gleaning the leaves of the slenderest outer twigs. The family is overwhelmingly non-migratory, although in West India there is some evidence that Marshall's Ioras and Common Ioras are partly migratory in the seasonal semi-desert fringe.

In the two species whose male courtship displays are known, they are elaborate, culminating in the males' parachute-style descent looking like green balls of fluff. The nests are compact open cups felted to branches with spiderweb. Females lay 2 or 3 eggs, which have pinkish speckles and red and purple lines. They incubate at night; the males, by day. Incubation lasts about 14 days. Both parents share responsibility for brooding and feeding.

There are just four species in this family, which are:

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea
Green Iora Aegithina viridissima
Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

Family Links

Ioras Aegithinidae

Family Account

The Ioras are a small group of arboreal passerines found throughout tropical Asia. All four species are fairly widespread (and all are in the same genus Aegithina). Certainly the most often seen is the Common Iora (left). It is found from the Indian subcontinent to Palawan (Philippines) and the Greater Sundas. Ioras tend to forage alone in the subcanopy, often eating berries and fruit and well as insect prey. I was reminded of minature New World orioles…

Ioras Aegithinidae

Family Account

The ioras (Aegithinidae) are a small family of four passerine bird species found in Pakistan and southeast Asia.

Ioras Aegithinidae

Family Account

The Ioras are a small group of arboreal passerines found throughout tropical Asia. All four species are fairly widespread (and all are in the same genus Aegithina). Certainly the most often seen is the Common Iora.

Ioras Aegithinidae

HBW Family Account

Annotated list

Species Links

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

Species Account

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.

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

HBW Species Account

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

BirdLife Species Account

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map

Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

Species Account

The great iora (Aegithina lafresnayei) is a species of bird in the Aegithinidae family. It is found in Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Iora Lafresnayei Hartlaub, 1844, Melaka, Peninsular Malaysia. Race innotata intergrades with nominate in Malay Peninsula. Three subspecies recognized.

Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

BirdLife Species Account

Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

IUCN Species Status

his species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion.

Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima

Species Account

The green iora (Aegithina viridissima) is a species of bird in the Aegithinidae family. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand.

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima

BirdLife Species Account

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Iora viridissima Bonaparte, 1850, Sumatra. Population of Batu Is (off W Sumatra) named as race nesiotis, but considered inseparable from nominate. Taxonomic status of N Natuna Is (S China Sea) population yet to be resolved; currently included in nominate, but further study needed. Two subspecies recognized.

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima

IUCN Species Status

Aegithina viridissima is restricted to the Sundaic lowlands, where it occurs from south Tenasserim, Myanmar, peninsular Thailand, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan (including Natuna Islands) and Sumatra (including offshore islands), Indonesia and Brunei (BirdLife International 2001). It is locally fairly common to common within this range.

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map

Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea

Species Account

The white-tailed iora or Marshall's iora (Aegithina nigrolutea),[2] is a songbird in the genus Aegithina found in parts of India and Sri Lanka.

Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Iora nigrolutea G. F. L. Marshall, 1876, Meerut, north-west Uttar Pradesh, India. Has often been treated as conspecific with A. tiphia, but differs in details of morphology, plumage and vocalizations, amongst others. Birds from NW India (Gujarat) described as race sulphurea, but now considered indistinguishable from adjacent populations. Elsewhere in range, some of the size and tonal variation apparent may eventually be recognized taxonomically. Currently treated as monotypic.

Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea

BirdLife Species Account

Marshall's Iora Aegithina nigrolutea

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 4