Black-faced monarch

Black-faced monarch
Monarcha melanopsis

Photo by Tony Morris (Flickr)

Common name:
black-faced monarch (en); monarca-de-face-negra (pt); monarque à face noire (fr); monarca carinegro (es); maskenmonarch (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

This species breeds along the eastern coast of Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria, and migrates north to winter in southern Papua-New Guinea. Some populations in northern Queensland are resident.

These birds are 18 cm long and weigh about 23 g.

The black-faced monarch is mostly found in rainforest, and also in nearby open eucalypt forests, especially in gullies with a dense understorey, as well as in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands.

They collect prey from the foliage, branches and crevices of trees and scrubs, taking various arthropods such as spiders, beetles, sawflies and wasps, grasshoppers, bugs, cicadas and lerps, moths and caterpillars, flies and dragonflies.

Black-faced monarchs breed in October-March. They nest among dense foliage and the female lays 2-3 eggs. The eggs are incubated 13-15 days and the chicks fledge 7-9 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be locally common in the north of its range and scarcer elsewhere. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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