|Photo by Erwin Collaerts (Oriental Bird Images)|
blue-crowned laughingthrush (en); zaragateiro-de-Courtois (pt); garrulaxe de Courtois (fr); charlatán coroniazul (es); blaukappenhäherling (de)
This species is endemic to China, only being found in five small and fragmented sites in
These birds are 23-25 cm long and weigh about 50 g.
The blue-crowned laughingthrush is found in moist tropical forests and scrublands, most often near rivers and streams and often near human settlements.
They are omnivorous, taking both fruits and various insects and other invertebrates.
Blue-crowned laughingthrushes breed in April-July. They nest in small colonies, with several nest in the same small area. each nest is tended by a family groups including the breeding pair and young from previous broods who help rear the new chicks. The nest is an open cup made of twigs, plant fibres and grasses, and lined with dry grasses. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parent and the helpers for 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and the helpers and fledge 16 days after hatching.
IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species has a small and fragmented breeding range and a global population estimated at just 50-250 individuals. The population trend is unknown, but believed to be declining due to low productivity. The blue-crowned laughingthrush is threatened by trapping for the cage bird trade, road building and urban development, and the very small population may now be prone to the loss of genetic diversity. A number of small Special Protected Areas were established in Jiangxi Province to protect this species.