The wide Indian and Southeast Asian range of the blue-winged leafbird reaches China in western and southern Yunnan (Ruili, Xishuangbanna), with subspecies kinneari commonly reported there. Inhabits well-wooded areas, particularly those with tall trees (primary, old secondary forests), to 1500 m. Male has turquoise flight feathers and tail, distinguishing it from golden-fronted leafbird, which lacks blue on flight feathers and tail, and from orange-bellied leafbird, whose flight feathers and tail are deep blue. Mantle, back, rump, and underparts apple-green. Moustachial stripe blue; mask and throat black and encircled by yellow halo (sometimes showing a yellow hood). Female has moustachial line but is duller blue on wings and tail; some have bluish throat. Juvenile almost completely green, but often has yellow “spectacles.” Bill black; feet grey. Call a cheerful stream of whistles, buzzes, and chirps, often in imitation. — Craig Brelsford
Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.