Wednesday 31 January 2024

Leafbirds in Hong Kong

AJP spotted these leafbirds at Tai Po Kau in Hong Kong during their recent cold weather. The species now goes under the name of Greyish-crowned Leafbird (Chloropsis lazulina) but was considered a subspecies of Hardwick's Chloropsis, Leafbird or Fruitsucker, Chloropsis hardwickii melliana. They live in high forests and the cold weather may have brought them down to the hills. They appear to have been taking nectar from the flowers.

They were once considered to be very rare in Hong Kong. Herklots noted that when he wrote his book in 1953 only one had ever been seen been seen—in Lam Tsuen Valley on 27 January 1934. The species occurs in south-west China down to Vietnam. They now have uncommon resident and winter visitor in the field guide. We have never seen one in Hong Kong either when we lived there in the 1960s or on our visits since.

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