Spectacled Monarch

Calls
Harsh buzzing, scolding and chattering; also long, quiet 'breer breer breer'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
14cm
Maximum Size: 
16cm
Average size: 
15cm
Average weight: 
14g
Breeding season: 
October to February
Clutch Size: 
2
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
QLD: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
375
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Spectacled Monarch is blue-grey above, with a black face mask that extends across both eyes in a 'clover-leaf' pattern, rufous (red-orange) breast, white underparts and a black tail with white outer tips. Immature birds lack the black face and have a grey throat. The north Queensland subspecies albiventris has a rufous upper breast sharply defined from more extensive white underparts.

Similar species: 

The Spectacled Monarch resembles the Black-faced MonarchM. melanopsis, and the Black-winged Monarch, M. frater, but these species differ in having a black face mask that does not extend across the eyes, and both lack the white underparts and white outer tail tips.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Spectacled Monarch is found in coastal north-eastern and eastern Australia, including coastal islands, from Cape York, Queensland to Port Stephens, New South Wales. It is much less common in the south. It is also found in Papua New Guinea, the Moluccas and Timor.

Habitat: 

The Spectacled Monarch prefers thick understorey in rainforests, wet gullies and waterside vegetation, as well as mangroves.

Seasonal movements: 

Resident in Queensland to Rockhampton, summer breeding migrant further south.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Spectacled Monarch feeds on insects, foraging mostly below the canopy in foliage and on tree trunks or vines.

Breeding: 

The Spectacled Monarch builds a small cup nest of fine bark, plant fibres, moss and spider web in a tree fork or in hanging vines, 1 m - 6 m above the ground, often near water.

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