Photo: C & D Frith
Wet Tropics Rainforest Life
ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD
PIED MONARCH: Arses kaupi 14 cm
This is an endemic to the Wet Tropics.
It occurs in all rainforests but is least common at higher altitudes.
It is small (14-15cm), blue-black and white with a blue eye ring.
It is a member of a group of birds called the flycatchers, which also includes Bower’s Shrike-thrush.
- The Pied Monarch is closely related to, and very similar to, the Frilled Monarch of Cape York Peninsula.
- The difference between the male and female of the Pied Monarch (and also the Frilled Monarch)
is in the chin. The males have black chins and the females have white chins.
- They build woven cup-shaped basket nests of small dry roots, twigs and vine tendrils. Spider webs are used to weave the nest.
- Pieces of lichen are used to decorate the nest. These nests are hung between hanging vines.
- Breeding season is between September and January in the wet summer season. Two eggs are usually laid.
- These active birds forage for food (mainly insects) on tree trunks, crevices and branches by clinging to the bark and flapping their wings to move them up and down, fanning its tail. This movement resembles that of a Treecreeper.
- They are sometimes seen singly, but more commonly in pairs.
- It is common to see this bird whilst searching for another.
- Clearing of the rainforest is greatly reducing the range in which it can live.
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