ANIMAL: Blue-Crowned Laughing Thrush Pterorhinus courtoisi Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Forests, forest edges, forest patches, bushy areas adjacent to forests, woodlands, shrub/grass plots, trees/shrubs near human habitation, vegetable plots, vegetable fields, vegetable gardens, tea gardens, grasslands, shrub areas along riverbanks, scattered tree areas, bamboo stands, farmland, scrubland, tree areas near rivers Location(s): Jiangxi province of China. Formerly found in Yunnan as well. Appearance: Brown backed yellow-bellied/throated bird w/ blue to pale gray silver-lined crown & black bandit’s mask Food/Diet: Insects, seeds, berries, fruit Status in Wild: Critically Endangered Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture. Population monitoring in restricted range. Export of these birds banned in 1998. Establishment of protected areas. Lifestyle: Flocks of up to 40 birds. Breed colonially & cooperatively. Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: 1.76 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 12 years in wild, 15 years in captivity Height: 9.05-9.84 in Body Length: 9.05-9.84 in Tail Length: 4 in Main predators of adults are civets & snakes. Smaller snakes & magpies prey on chicks. Critically endangered due to habitat loss, restricted range, bird trade, deforestation, agriculture, development, pathogens, & low genetic diversity. They were once considered a subspecies of the Yellow-Throated Laughing Thrush. Flock members communicate w/ each other w/ noisy high-pitched churrs as well as squeals, buzzes, & their signature laughing call. They make open cup-shaped nests made of twigs & grasses, lined w/ dry grasses, in trees 13-49 ft above ground. 3-5 eggs laid in small open cup-shaped nests. Older siblings help in care of younger siblings. Forage on ground as well in bushes & trees. Chicks fledge at 16 days but stay w/ parents for longer. Breed from April-July. Maturity reached at 10-12 months old. Active during the day (diurnal). These birds tend to be rather inquisitive. Fun Fact(s): Also called Courtois’s Laughingbird, in honor of French missionary Frederic Courtois, who lived in China from 1901 until death in 1928. He was very interested in botany & ornithology. There may only be 200-300 of these birds left in the wild. Fortunately, captive population is increasing. Wild population may be increasing too.
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