The smallest in their family, these birds are so successful because of
diet. They eat mainly insects. Restless, active hunters, Common Ioras
search for insects from leaves in the upper storeys of trees, sometimes
even hanging upside down from branches. They may also catch insects on
the wing. Occasionally, they may eat fruits such as the berries of
epiphytes growing in tall trees (e.g., mistletoe). They feed in pairs or
small groups. Like other Ioras, they are noisy and active, and may sing
almost all the time.
Breeding: During breeding season (April-June), the male becomes even
brighter yellow. He performs an acrobatic courtship display, darting up
into the air fluffing up all feathers, especially those on the rump,
then spiralling down to the original perch. Once he lands, he spreads
his tail like a little peacock, drooping his wings. All to the
accompaniment of whistles and chirrups.
The Common Iora's nest is carefully built on the fork at the end of
branch of a small tree. It is small, loose, deep, cup-shaped. It is made
out of grass and other fibres felted together and plastered with spider
webs on the outside. Usually 3 greenish white eggs are laid. They are
pale buff with red-brown spots and blotches.
Status and threats: Common Ioras are widespread and not considered at
risk in Singapore. Originally mangrove birds, they are now also found in
scrub, cultivated areas and gardens. In fact, they are now found in
almost all kinds of habitats, except the deep forest.