Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea) is a very attractive bird. The male is blue and white, with a dark blue breast-band and nuchal tuft (above left). The female is duller blue and without the breast-band and nuchal tuft (above right). The bird is a rare resident in Singapore and a relatively common resident in Malaysia. Most nesting records are from Malaysia and this one is from the 2007 nesting in Rengit, Johor.
The nest is wedged in the fork of a sapling. It is a deep compact cup built of plant fibres and grass leaves. The lower portion is embellished with mosses and liverworts as well as copious cobwebs and spider cocoon silk. Such silk strands do not stick the nesting materials together like sticky tapes. Rather, they act as Velcro “loops”, the tiny leaves of the mosses and liverworts provide the “hooks”. In this way, the nest actually make use of the Velcro principal (Hansell, 2007).
A full clutch of eggs is usually two, although three or even four have been reported. In this particular case there was only one chick in the nest.
Both adults help in incubating and brooding, although the female has been reported to be doing more of the work. The chick was seen being fed with insects (above), after which it turned around and offered its posterior to the adult (below). As soon as the white faecal sac appeared from the chick’s vent, the adult picked it. The male is seen here with the faecal sac that he will dispose of some distance away from the nest.
Hansell, Mike (2007). Built by animals. Oxford University Press.
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