Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Black-naped monarch

Binomial name: Hypothymis azurea, Pieter Boddaert, 1783

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.

Description

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.

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.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Photos in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Videos of Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch - Kaeng Krachan National Park

    Black-naped monarch - Kaeng Krachan National Park

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch nesting

    Black-naped monarch nesting

  • Black-naped monarch - Yonok wetland, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Black-naped monarch - Yonok wetland, Chiang Rai, Thailand

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

  • Black-naped monarch

    Black-naped monarch

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Monarchidae
Genus
Hypothymis
Species
Hypothymis azurea

Subspecies

  • Hypothymis azurea abbotti, Charles Wallace Richmond, 1902

    Range: Reusam and Babi islands

  • Hypothymis azurea aeria, Outram Bangs & James Lee Peters, 1927

    Range: Maratua Island

  • Hypothymis azurea consobrina, Charles Wallace Richmond, 1902

    Range: Simeulue Island

  • Hypothymis azurea forrestia, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Mergui Archipelago

  • Hypothymis azurea galerita, Herbert Girton Deignan, 1956

    Range: Thailand

  • Hypothymis azurea gigantoptera, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Bunguran

  • Hypothymis azurea javana, Frederick Nutter Chasen & Cecil Boden Kloss, 1929

    Range: Java and Bali.

  • Hypothymis azurea karimatensis, Frederick Nutter Chasen & Cecil Boden Kloss, 1932

    Range: Karimata Island

  • Hypothymis azurea leucophila, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Siberut Island

  • Hypothymis azurea montana, Joseph Harvey Riley, 1929

    Range: Thailand

  • Hypothymis azurea oberholseri, Erwin Stresemann, 1913

    Range: Taiwan

  • Hypothymis azurea opisthocyanea, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Anamba Island

  • Hypothymis azurea penidae, Wilhelm Meise, 1941

    Range: Penida Island

  • Hypothymis azurea prophata, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

  • Hypothymis azurea richmondi, Harry Church Oberholser, 1911

    Range: Enggano Island

  • Hypothymis azurea symmixta, Erwin Stresemann, 1913

    Range: Lesser Sundas.

Synonyms

  • Monarcha azurea

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Black-naped monarch couple

Black-naped monarch couple

Copyright iStockphoto

Black-naped monarch

Black-naped monarch

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Black-naped monarch couple (nesting)

Black-naped monarch couple (nesting)

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Black-naped monarch couple (male)

Black-naped monarch couple (male)

Copyright iStockphoto

Black-naped monarch distribution map

Black-naped monarch distribution map

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Range map of Hypothymis azurea in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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