Thursday, 19 May 2011

Black-naped monarch

Hypothymis azurea

Photo by Eric Soo (Nature in Singapore)

Common name:
black-naped monarch (en); monarca-azul (pt); tchitrec azuré (fr); monarca nuquinegro (es); schwarzgenickschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

Range:
This Asian species is found from India and Sri Lanka in the west, across southern Asia to southern China and Indonesia, and the island groups of Hainan, Taiwan, Sundas, Philippines, Andamans, and Nicobars.

Size:
Black-naped monarchs are 16-18 cm long and weigh 10 g.

Habitat:
These birds are mostly found in thick forests and other well-wooded habitats, but also in scrubland and overgrown plantations. they are more common in the lowlands, but may be found up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

Diet:
These insectivores hunt a variety of small insects, including small crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies and moths, mostly by gleaning from foliage, but also by snatching from mid-air.

Breeding:
Black-naped monarchs breed in April-July. Both sexes build the nest, a deep cup woven of thin strips of bark, plant fibres, moss, and spider webs, wedged in the upright fork of a tree, often near the ground. There the female lays 2-4 creamy-white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 7-10 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is described as generally widespread and common throughout its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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