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The Black-Naped Monarch's Royal Blue Hue Perfectly Suits Its Name

Amy Pilkington 25 Jul 2020

There is something about blue birds that sparks the human imagination. Birds come in countless colors and patterns, but only a few hues stand out in the culture. When we imagine Cinderella and her bird friends, we think of blue birds first.

You would think that would make featuring an azure bird in an article boring, or cliche, but these birds are special in their own way, beyond just their beautiful colors.

Most blue birds aren’t actually blue at all, their visible hue being a trick of the light.

Instagram | @avian.elixir

I’m not 100 percent certain whether the Black-Naped Monarch is one of those special birds with actual blue pigments in its feathers or not. Either way, their royal blue bodies with black accents are visually stunning.

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You can find these birds in southern and southeastern Asia.

Instagram | @the_nil_

Depending on where a particular breeding population lives, their exact hue can shift a bit. In Sri Lanka, the black markings are missing and the feathers lean closer to a cool purple. Males in the Indian peninsula have particularly stark black markings.

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In most subspecies, the females are duller, with greyish wings and no black nape.

Instagram | @pugad_ni_jonet

One description of their song describes it as:

”Song is a bland, unremarkable “wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi.” Calls include harsh nasal “wheh” and an explosive “whi-cheh!”

Which seems a bit judgy.

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As members of the flycatcher category, these blue dudes feast primarily on insects.

Instagram | @sanjaysen_photography

They don’t migrate, but will move around within their habitat quite a bit in search of food and a place to nest. Currently, they are under no danger of extinction, assuming their habitat is left alone.

h/t: Thai National Parks

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