Fun Leafbird Facts For Kids

Ogrima Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Ogrima Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 30, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Leafbird facts include that they are endemic to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Leafbirds are passerine birds belonging to the monogeneric family Chloropseidaea and its only genus Chloropsis. There are 11 known species in the genus, a few of which have subspecies.

Their population is endemic to bushes, shrubs, and trees in the forests of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They lay two or three pinkish eggs in nests placed high on tree branches.

Species like Jerdon's leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni), the golden-fronted leafbird, and the orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.

The greater green leafbird, the blue-winged leafbird, and the Sumatran leafbird are listed as Endangered, the Philippine leafbird is classed as Vulnerable, while the lesser green leafbird and the blue-masked leafbird are listed as Near Threatened. Their main threats are the cagebird trade and habitat loss caused by deforestation.

These birds have green bodies and wings; some species have colored face masks, wings, or throats. They are excellent mimics and can mimic the songs and calls of other bird species.

For more relatable content, check out these swan goose facts and flycatcher facts for kids.

Leafbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a leafbird?

The leafbirds, of the family Chloropseidae, are species of small passerine birds.

What class of animal does a leafbird belong to?

The leafbird is a species belonging to the class of birds, Aves.

How many leafbirds are there in the world?

The exact number of leafbirds under the genus Chloropsis is unknown.

Where does a leafbird live?

The leafbird population distribution ranges from the Indian subcontinent to countries in Southeast Asia, like the Philippines and Thailand.

What is a leafbird's habitat?

The leafbird's natural habitat consists of bushes, shrubs, and trees in forests. Most species live in evergreen forests.

The golden-fronted leafbird, Jerdon's leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni), and the blue-winged leafbird live in deciduous monsoon forests, and the orange-bellied leafbird lives in deciduous forests. These birds usually live below 8200 feet (2500 m). The blue-masked leafbird lives in montane forests at a minimum altitude of 3280 ft (1000m).

Who does the leafbird live with?

Leafbirds are most commonly seen in pairs or alone, but there is also evidence of them foraging for food in mixed flocks near flowering or fruit trees.

How long does a leafbird live?

Leafbirds have an average lifespan of four years.

How do they reproduce?

Leafbirds are monogamous and reproduce by laying two to three pinkish eggs. Leafbird nests are found high in the trees on the ends of branches near the tree crown.

The nests have open cup-like structures built using delicate stems, leaves, and rootlets. The female incubates the eggs for around 14 days. In most species, like Jerdon's leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni), Golden-fronted leafbird, orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii), and blue-winged leafbird, the male feeds the females while they are incubating the eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status for leafbirds varies for species between Vulnerable, Endangered, Near Threatened, and Least Concern. Most species, like Jerdon's leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni), Golden-fronted leafbird, and the orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii), are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.

The greater green leafbird, the blue-winged leafbird, and the Sumatran leafbird are Endangered, the Philippine leafbird is Vulnerable, and the lesser green leafbird and the blue-masked leafbird are listed as Near Threatened.

Leafbird Fun Facts

What does a leafbird look like?


The common characteristics amongst all the leafbird species are their bright grass green-colored bodies, short legs, and long thin beaks, which help them drink nectar from flowers. Most species of this family exhibit sexual dimorphism.

The male Jerdon's leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni) has a green body with a yellow-green head, black face, and throat. The female has a greener head and a blue throat. Juveniles look similar to the female but lack the blue throat patch.

The male and female blue-winged leafbird and Jerdon's leafbird look similar, except for the distinctive blue color on the blue-winged leafbirds.

The adult golden-fronted leafbird has a green body, black face, yellow-orange forehead, yellow-bordered throat, dark brown irises, and black bill and legs. Juveniles have a plain green head and don't have a black face and throat. Females have a duller shade of black on their face and throat.

Like the name may suggest, the adult male orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) has a bright orange-colored belly, green back feathers, a blue tail and wing, and a bluish-black patch on its throat and chest. It has a long, curved beak. The female lacks the blue wings and tail and has a duller orange belly. The juvenile resembles the female.

How cute are they?

These bird species are very cute owing to their small size and colorful plumage. Their bright green bodies and colorful heads, throats, and face masks are beautiful.

How do they communicate?

They have a melodic song; their calls include whistles and chatters. These species are also excellent mimics. Jerdon's leafbird and blue-winged leafbird calls are a mixture of imitations of the calls of other bird species.

The song of the golden-fronted bird species consists of harsh whispers and chirps in bulbul-like tones. They are also well known as mimics and have loud calls. This species mimics other birds' calls and songs so well that it sometimes confuses bird specialists and researchers.

How big is a leafbird?

Leafbirds are 5.5–8.3 in (14-21 cm) in size, which is the same size as a peach-faced lovebird and half the size of an ani bird.

How fast can a leafbird fly?

Like most passerine birds, they are fast flyers. Since diet mainly consists of small insects, they have quick reflexes and are fast in flight. Their exact speed is unknown.

How much does a leafbird weigh?

Leaf birds weigh 0.53–1.69 oz (15 to 48 g); they weigh the same as sunbirds and are three to four times heavier than tailorbirds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female birds of this species. Most species exhibit sexual dimorphism, which helps differentiate between the sexes physically.

What would you call a baby leafbird?

There are no specific names for baby leafbirds; they generally are called chicks, juveniles, or baby birds.

What do they eat?

Leafbirds are nectarivores, like most passerines, and their diet generally consists of insects, fruit, and nectar. Some species also feed on small invertebrates.

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous to humans but can display aggressive behavior towards other birds or conspecifics (birds of the same species).

Would they make a good pet?

They are good pets and are very popular in the cagebird bird trade in countries like India, Thailand, and the Philippines. But this unregulated cagebird trade is one of the greatest threats to their population.

Many species are already on the brink of extinction due to this trade. Thus, we should refrain from capturing them and let them live freely in the wild.

Did you know...

This species has a fascinating defense mechanism against predators; one of the most obvious ones is their color which helps them camouflage in the forest; they also shed their colored feathers to confuse predators or when they are stressed in captivity.

Leafbirds and bulbuls have similar physical characteristics and vocalizations. One stark difference is in their coloration; bulbuls are dull brownish plumage, while leafbirds are brightly colored.

Jerdon's leafbirds are very shy of water, and thus, are very quick to swoop down from a breach they were perched on, drink water, and flee. Jerdon's leafbirds are named after Thomas C. Jerdon, a British botanist, and zoologist.

The golden fronted leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons) has two subspecies; C. a. frontalis and C. a. insuralis.

How many eggs do leafbird lay?

Leafbirds lay two to three pinkish eggs in open cup-like nests built using fine stems and leaves found on the ends of branches near the tree crown. The female incubates the eggs for around 14 days, during which the male feeds the female.

Does leafbird migrate?

No, leafbirds are non-migratory resident birds. They are endemic to the forests of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our long-tailed duck facts and bean goose fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable golden fronted leafbird coloring pages.

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Written by Ogrima Mukherjee

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science

Ogrima Mukherjee picture

Ogrima MukherjeeBachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science

Ogrima brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to her craft. With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from GITAM University, she possesses a strong foundation in technology. However, her keen interest in writing has allowed her to leverage her skills and passion to create high-quality content in various niches. Ogrima's extensive experience in content writing and social media copywriting showcases her versatility and adaptability as a writer. Her ability to create engaging and well-researched articles tailored specifically for children sets her apart.

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