Silver-eared Mesia


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The silver-eared mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) is a species of bird from South East Asia.
The species was once placed in the large Old World babbler family Timaliidae, but that family has recently been split with this species being placed with the laughingthrushes in the new family Leiothrichidae.[2]

The species is sometimes placed in its own genus Mesia, or in the genus Leiothrix with the red-billed leiothrix. There are seven described subspecies, with considerable variation in plumage between them. Further research is needed to establish if this represents a single species or not.
The diet of the silver-eared mesia is dominated by insects and their larvae, as well as fruit and to a lesser extent seeds. A study of the diet of feral birds in Hong Kong found that 87% of the faecal samples studied had the remains on insects in them, and 97% had the remains of fruit. The species will often associate in large groups of up to thirty individuals while foraging, and even forms groups during the breeding season. They will also join large flocks of other species in the forest, known as waves, which include other species of babblers. They generally feed closer to the ground, but may go as high as 5 metres up into the canopy. source

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