This Flying Saphire Is A Treasured Wonder In Asian Forests

Have you ever seen a natural blue flower or fruit? Indeed, the color blue is so rare in nature. Hence, if you have a chance to encounter the black-naped monarch or black-naped blue flycatcher (Hypothymis azurea), you are extremely lucky.

Source: Ian Davies, Ban Song Nok, Phetchaburi, Thailand

The bird is a slim and agile passerine bird belonging to the family of monarch flycatchers. Individuals join mixed flocks and are often found in southern and south-eastern Asia.

Source: Aritra Mukherjee, Sinhgad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra, India

The beautiful azure-blue male exhibits a black nape patch and a thin black gorget, while the female lacks the black nape patch and gorget markings, with gray-brown wings and bright blue only on the head. Both sexes show black feathers on top of the bill and grayish-white underparts. Each bird measures about 16cm in length.

Source: Ramesh Shenai, Tungareshwar NP, Palghar, Maharashtra, India

This bird inhabits both dry and wet forested areas from sea level up to foothills. It breeds across tropical southern Asia, from Iran and Sri Lanka east to Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Source: Rajesh Mangal, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

The black-naped monarch has short legs and sits upright while perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous, often hunting by flycatching, which means hawking in mid-air to catch the prey.

Source: Jhih-Wei TSAI, Jingsi Lake, Pingtung County, Taiwan

This beautiful bird's song is a bland, unremarkable "wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi". Its calls include harsh nasal "wheh" and an explosive "whi-cheh!".

Source: Raghavendra Pai, Mookambika WLS, Udupi, Karnataka, India

The main breeding season in India is in summer, from May to July. Two to three eggs are laid in a cup nest placed in the fork of a tree and decorated with spider-egg cases.

Source: Arpit Bansal, Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Raigad, Maharashtra, India

Source: Ting-Wei HUNG, Sanfu Leisure Farm, Yilan County, Taiwan

The black-naped monarch is marked as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, though its populations differ slightly in plumage color and sizes.

Source: David Irving, General Area, Ernakulam, Kerala, India

Source: Ian Davies, Ban Song Nok, Phetchaburi, Thailand

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