Asian Fairy-bluebird

Asian Fairy-bluebird
Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella puella, male, Skytree Nature Reserve (21.627507, 101.588238), Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan, China, elev. 730 m (2,380 ft.), March. (Craig Brelsford)
Asian Fairy-bluebird
Female puella, Skytree Nature Reserve, March. (Craig Brelsford)

Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella ranges India to Greater Sundas and Philippines. In China, nominate common in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Lowland forests of various types, to 1000 m (3,280 ft.). Rarely alone; usually in parties of two to several birds in upper canopy. Mainly frugivorous (figs particularly important) but also takes insects. ID Male has stunning ultramarine blue crown, mantle, scapulars, lesser wing coverts, rump, upper-tail coverts, vent, and undertail coverts. Rest of plumage black with blue spots on greater wing coverts. Female almost entirely pale blue with more blackish wings and tail. Juvenile duller than female; browner wings. BARE PARTS Eye red; strong bill black; legs black. VOICE Call a dialogue of clear whistles. Twittering flight call; harsh alarm call. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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