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Black-naped monarch

Black-naped monarch
Photo Information
Copyright: Nagesh Vannur (nagesh) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 69] (362)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2014-09-21
Categories: Birds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-09-21 0:14
Viewed: 2309
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Black-naped monarch

The black-naped monarch or black-naped blue flycatcher (Hypothymis azurea) is a slim and agile passerine bird belonging to the family of monarch flycatchers. They are sexually dimorphic with males having a distinctive black patch on the back of the head and a narrow black half collar ("necklace") while the female is duller and lacks the black markings. They have a call that is similar to that of the Asian paradise flycatcher and in tropical forest habitats pairs may join mixed-species foraging flocks. Populations differ slightly in plumage colour and sizes.


The adult male black-naped monarch is about 16 cm long, and is mainly pale azure blue apart from a whitish lower belly. It has a black nape and a narrow black gorget. The female is duller and lacks the black markings. Her wings and back are grey-brown. There are however several geographically separated breeding populations that differ in the extent and shade of markings. The Indian peninsula (includes sykesi of Stuart Baker) has subspecies styani which has the black markings very distinct. Males of the Sri Lankan race H. a. ceylonensis lack the black nape and gorget and the shade is more purplish. The subspecies of the Andaman Islands, tytleri, has the underparts blue grey. The form on Car Nicobar Island idiochroa has a greyish white belly while nicobarica from the southern Nicobars has a smaller and finer bill. The colour of the gape is yellowish to green.

The nominate form is described from the Philippines. A number of other subspecies have been described from Southeast Asia. These include:

oberholseri Stresemann, 1913 from Taiwan.
montana Riley, 1929 & galerita (Deignan, 1956) from Thailand
forrestia Oberholser, 1911 from the Mergui Archipelago
prophata Oberholser, 1911 from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.
consobrina Richmond, 1902 from Simeulue Island
abbotti Richmond, 1902 from Reusam and Babi islands
leucophila Oberholser, 1911 from Siberut Island
richmondi Oberholser, 1911 from Enggano Island
opisthocyanea Oberholser, 1911 from Anamba Island[9]
gigantoptera Oberholser, 1911 from Bunguran
karimatensis Chasen & Kloss, 1932 from Karimata Island
javana Chasen & Kloss, 1929 from Java and Bali.
penidae Meise, 1941 from Penida Island
symmixta Stresemann, 1913 from the Lesser Sundas.
aeria Bangs & J. L. Peters, 1927 from Maratua Island
Some subspecies from the island chains of Southeast Asia, blasii (Banggai Island), catarmanensis (off Mindanao) and puella (Sulawesi), are sometimes treated as the pale-blue monarch, Hypothymis puella.

Distribution and habitat.

The black-naped monarch breeds across tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and the Philippines. This species is usually found in thick forests and other well-wooded habitats.

The calls are a sharp and abrupt skrip. 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. The nest is decorated with spider egg-cases.

Behaviour and ecology

The black-naped monarch has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous, often hunting by flycatching. When alarmed or alert, the nape feathers are raised into a pointed crest. They will join mixed-species foraging flocks and are active in the understory of the canopy.

Although they are largely residents, local seasonal movements are known. The breeding season in India is March to August and the nest is neat cup placed in a fork. The nest is built by the female while the male guards. The typical clutch is of three eggs with both parents incubate and feed the young which hatch after about 12 days.

The webs of large spiders such as Nephila maculata have been know to trap the bird.

BirdLife International (2012). "Hypothymis azurea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
Jump up ^ Baker, EC Stuart (1923). A hand-list of Genera and Species of Birds of the Indian Empire. Bombay Natural History Society.
^ Jump up to: a b Rasmussen, PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. p. 333.
Jump up ^ Oates, EW (1890). Fauna of British India. Birds. Volume 2. Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 4950.
Jump up ^ Ripley, S. D. (1944). "The Bird Fauna of the West Sumatra Islands". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 94 (8): 307430.
^ Jump up to: a b Oberholser, Harry C (1911). "A monograph of the Flycatcher genera Hypothymis and Cyanonympha No. 1803". Proc. U. S Nat. Mus. 39: 585615. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.1803.585.
Jump up ^ Rand, AL (1970). "Species formation in the blue monarch flycatchers genus Hypothymis". Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 23: 353365.
Jump up ^ Oberholser, Harry C. (1911). "A monograph of the flycatcher genera Hypothymis and Cyanonympha". Proceedings of the United States National Museum 39 (1803): 585615. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.1803.585. hdl:10088/14242.
Jump up ^ Oberholser, HC (1932). "The Birds of the Natuna Islands". U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 159: 1137.
Jump up ^ Hume, AO (1900). The nests and eggs of Indian birds. Volume 2. R H Porter, London. pp. 2730.
^ Jump up to: a b Ali, S & S D Ripley (1996). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 7 (2 ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. pp. 223227.
Jump up ^ Kotagama, SW & Goodale, E (2004). "The composition and spatial organisation of mixedspecies flocks in a Sri Lankan rainforest". Forktail 20: 6370.
Jump up ^ Whistler, Hugh (1949). Popular handbook of Indian Birds. 4th edition. Gurney and Jackson. pp. 133134.
Jump up ^ Andheria,Anish P (1999). "Blacknaped Blue Flycatcher Hypothymis azurea trapped in the web of the Giant Wood Spider Nephila maculata". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 96 (1): 145146.
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Location: Dandeli is a town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India, in the Western Ghats region in North Karnataka.

Wildlife sanctuary
Dandeli is a natural habitat for wildlife, including tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, gaur, deer, antelopes, and bears. It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka and was designated as a tiger reserve in 2007. The jungle is also home to several varieties of reptiles and almost 300 varieties of birds. The rapid expansion of industry has raised fears of ecological damage to the area, and local volunteer groups have formed to address the issue.

Other attractions
The sanctuary provides rafting opportunities at the Virnoli Rapids connected to the Kali River. Other tourist activities include nature walks, boating, bird watching, crocodile spotting and angling. Nearby tourist spots include Ulavi, Syntheri Rocks, Anashi National Park, and Moulangi.
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Hello Nagesh- Precise and useful NOTE. Very beautiful bird. Well captured. Nice BG with splendid sharpness. Thanks for sharing. Regards and have a nice Sunday- Srikumar

hallo Nagesh
great shot and very nice composition
the colours and light are beautiful
thanks gr lou

Another excellent bird shot, presumably taken from quite a distance, Slightly soft, but all distinguishing details clearly shown.

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