Blue-Crowned Laughing Thrush

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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