Monarch Flycatchers: Monarchidae
Black-naped Monarch (hypothymis Azurea): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Also called Pacific monarchs, black-naped monarchs are only 6 inches (16 centimeters) long. Their legs and feet are so weak they sit in a squatting pose when they perch. Both the male and the female have bright blue coloring on their heads, necks, backs, and chests, with grayish white bellies. Females, though blue, have grayish brown tones on their backs and more blue on their tails and wings. Males also have a round black spot on the back of their head, or nape. The Chinese name for this bird means, "black pillow," and refers to this black spot. In addition, males have a black stripe that encircles their throat. Because of their small size and their bright blue coloring, these birds have been nicknamed the "blue fairies of the forest."
Geographic range: This species can be found in India, Southeast Asia, southern China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Habitat: Black-naped monarchs are common in mixed forests of pine and hardwoods below 4,265 feet (1,300 meters), as well as in stands of bamboo in river valleys. Though many black-naped monarchs prefer the lower to middle levels of the forest canopy and will nest close to the ground, the population in Taiwan prefers the upper and middle levels of the forest canopy and are not usually seen on the ground. They will migrate to cooler, higher elevations when the temperatures get too warm.
Diet: Black-naped monarchs eat insects, including butterflies, moths, and crickets.
Behavior and reproduction: The call of the black-naped monarch is a series of short whistles or trills. Sometimes, they give out loud chirps when they vocalize.
Territorial birds, they remain close to their ranges in pairs or alone. They will gather in small flocks or with other species when it is not mating season. These birds begin searching for mates at the end of the spring and on through the middle of summer. Females lay two to three cream or buff eggs that have reddish brown spots in their deep woven nests. Built into the forks of tree branches, these nests are made of plant materials, bark, moss, and spider webs.
Black-naped monarchs and people: These birds have no special significance to people.
Conservation status: Black-naped monarchs are very common and are not threatened with extinction. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Barlow, Clive, and Tim Wacher. A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1998.
Perrins, Christopher. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Richmond Hill, Canada: Firefly Books, 2003.
Robbins, Michael. Birds: Fandex Family Field Guides. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1998.
Urban, E. K., H. D. Fry, and S. Keith. The Birds of Africa, vol. 5. London: Academic Press, 1997.
Weidensaul, Scott. Birds: National Audubon Society First Field Guides. New York: Scholastic Trade, 1998.
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Animal Life ResourceBirdsMonarch Flycatchers: Monarchidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Monarch Flycatchers And People, African Paradise-flycatcher (terpsiphone Viridis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS