Greater Green Leafbird – calls by both sexes

posted in: birds, Vocalisation | 0

The Greater Green Leafbirds (Chloropsis sonnerati zosterops) have a wide range of calls and are also known to have some degree of mimicry, including of the Asian Fairy-bluebird (Wells 2007). There is also uncertainty if both sexes sing. I had an opportunity to observe a pair of Greater Green Leafbirds make calls today for an extended period. Note that in this discussion I have not differentiated between ‘calls’ and ‘song’. There were two types of calls/songs that I heard clearly and recorded (among other call types).

Call type 1 is shown in the waveform and sonogram above and an edited recording is in in the SoundCloud link:

The call is initiated with a sharp and loud whistle and is followed rapidly by 3 more notes, the 3rd being of lowest amplitude. This call or song is made by the male and at times responded to by the female, but in a lower volume and not in the same structure. This can be seen in the second half of the waveform/sonogram and audio recording. Having listened for quite some time this morning I can say with certainty that both sexes sing and the female in response to the male. These types of calls/song were made while feeding and moving about and appear to be some form of contact calls.

Call type 2 is shown in the waveform and sonogram above and an edited recording is in in the SoundCloud link:

This call is only made by the male (during my time of observation). The bird had stop feeding and was sitting on a branch, stationary for quite a while. The calls were made by the male pointing the beak upwards with the neck extended (see posture in image below). There was no response from the female. The calls are discrete but bunched together in a group of 9-11 notes. Initially starting out as single notes and then as two notes close together.

The female partner in shown below.

I can also confirm the observation by A. Coates (mentioned in Wells 20017) that the male Greater Green Leafbird is competitive about feeding and guards fruit sources even against its own mate. I saw it chase off the female partner twice from fruit she was feeding on.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

Date: 3rd January 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld





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