Blacknaped monarch

Hypothymis azurea

TAXONOMY

Muscicapa coeruleocephala Sykes, 1832, Decan, India. 19 subspecies recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Pacific monarch; French: Tchitrec azuré; German: Schwarzgenickschnäpper; Spanish: Monarca Azul de Nuca Negra.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6 in (16 cm). Long-tailed, slender. Similar in shape to fantails, but coloration is bolder. Males bright blue, with black patch on nape and black band on throat. Females grayer, lack black markings.

DISTRIBUTION

From India in the west, across southern Asia to southern China and the island groups of Hainan, Taiwan, Sundas, Philippines, Andamans, and Nicobars.

HABITAT

Common in scrub, forest and overgrown plantations, mostly in the lowlands, but up to 4,265 ft (1,300 m) in some areas. Birds tend to be found in the medium or lower canopy, but nests can be close to the ground.

BEHAVIOR

Vocal and showy, with harsh, chirping call and rattling trill or whistle, which is easily attracted to an imitation. Outside breeding season, pairs rove widely, often joining with other Black-naped monarchs or other species to form small flocks.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feed on variety of small insects, including small crickets, butterflies, and moths, mostly by gleaning from foliage, but also by snatching from mid-air.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nest is deep cup woven of thin strips of bark, plant fibers, moss, and spider webs, wedged in the upright fork of a tree, sometimes just a few feet above the ground. Females lay two or three buff- or cream-colored eggs, with red-brown spots. During breeding season, usually in the first half of the year, males defend territory from intrusion by conspecifics.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Common and widespread in a range of habitats.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

0 0

Post a comment