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Island monarch

Monarcha cinerascens

Photo by Joseph Monkhouse (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
island monarch (en); monarca-ilhéu (pt); monarque des ilês (fr); monarca isleño (es); graukopfmonarch (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

This species is found in the islands of eastern Indonesia, west of New Guinea, including Timor, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sundas, and also on the islands off northern and eastern New Guinea and in the Solomon islands.

These birds are 16,5-19 cm long and weigh about 30 g.

The island monarch is mostly found in moist tropical forests, in low hills and lower mountainous areas. They also use coastal dry scrublands and plantations.

They feed primarily on small invertebrates, such as ants, small cockroaches, grasshoppers, thrips and springtails, also eating fruits such as wild figs.

Island monarchs can possibly breed all year round. The nest is a bulky cup made of dried grass, plant fibres, black vine tendrils and moss, and is placed on a sloping fork of a scrub or small tree 6-17 m above the ground or over water. The female lays 1-2 eggs, but there is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

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

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