White-tailed Iora Aegithina nigrolutea

Prasad Ganpule
Version: 2.0 — Published October 22, 2020


Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in


It prefers sparse scrub, thorn jungle, and tree groves. In the north and west of its range, it occurs exclusively at plains level, where it favors thorny acacia (Acacia) jungle, and scrubby groves and gullies; around Delhi, reported also as frequenting canopy of Dalbergia sissoo (sheesham) woodland. In western India (Gujarat), it prefers Acacia dominated scrub, Salvadora persica jungles, and agricultural fields interspersed with trees. In Saurashtra, in western India (Gujarat), the thorn scrub habitat where the White-tailed Iora is fairly common mainly consists of Acacia tree species, Prosopis spicigera, Salvadora persica, Balsamodendron mukul, and Grewia populifolia. Such areas are locally called as ‘vidis,’ which are thorn jungles with sparsely scattered trees, interspersed with grassland and bare stoney ground is stony in a few places; tree density is not high and open spaces exist between trees [ ]. These trees are often covered with creepers in the monsoon; White-tailed Ioras feed in such trees quite frequently. Habitat in Kachchh is similar and consists of thorn jungle with Acacia senegal, A. leucopholoes, A. nilotica, Cordia rothii, Balanites sp., Capparis sp., Ziziphus sp., Pithecoelibium dulci, and other bushes and trees of medium height (23).

Habitat in southern India is insufficiently described, but includes scrub forest and open, park-like woodland at elevations up to 700 m. Habitat in Sri Lanka at Yala National Park described as dry open areas with thorny bushes and large trees (consisting of Salvadora persica); in the driest part of the country, habitat described as open scrubland, with semi-arid conditions (25). In other parts Sri Lanka, at Lunugamvehera National Park, habitat consists of large trees (5 to 12 m height) forming open woodland, and also consisting of dense, thorny and non-thorny shrubs about 1-2 m in height; proximity to seasonal water holes was considered to be important part of its habitat (26).

The habitat used in breeding and non-breeding season is the same. The thorn scrub jungles in western India become dry in the summer, and the temperatures are extreme in the habitats there; maximum temperatures go up to 45° C in the summer while in the winter, the minimum temperature is between 0-5° C. The rainfall occurs between June-September, and winter and summer months are dry.

Habitat in Breeding Range

See above.

Habitat in Nonbreeding Range

See above.

Recommended Citation

Ganpule, P. (2020). White-tailed Iora (Aegithina nigrolutea), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whtior1.02