“File:Black Napped Monarch Prasanna Mamidala.jpg” by Mprasannak (cropped) is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
A bird about 16 cm long, which is easily characterized by the male wearing a suit of bright blue plumage and a distinctive black patch on the top of his head.
Photo Courtesy of Jason Thompson / CC BY 2.0
Females are mainly greyish-brown, lacking the black patch on the male’s head, though her head is a similar shade of blue.
Having a highly distinctive call, it is very similar to the Asian paradise flycatcher bird.
“File:Black-nape Monarch Hypothymis azurea by Dr. Raju Kasambe DSCN9969 (6).jpg” by Dr. Raju Kasambe is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
So much so that they have been known to join in pairs and make mixed-species foraging flocks.
These bright blue birds breed right across the tropical areas of South Asia, from Iran to Sri Lanka into the Philippines.
In its range, the Black-naped monarch prefers to live in habitats consisting of lots of wooded areas. Here they dine on a wide range of insects, catching many on the wing.
Breeding season is from March to August with a nest built by the female in the fork of a tree, while the male stands guard. The cup is lined with filaments of webbing and fungi including Marasmius, which is known to produce antibiotics and may benefit the bird by protecting the young from infection. A clutch of up to three eggs is laid, which both parents incubate and feed after the young have hatched.
“File:Black-nape Monarch Hypothymis azurea by Dr. Raju Kasambe DSCN9969 (7).jpg” by Dr. Raju Kasambe is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Due to their large range, this bird is considered as of least concern on the ICUN list of threatened species.
“Tongue in Cheek” by Yogendra174 (cropped) is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Watch and listen to this bird right here in the video below: