Animal Species:Black-faced Monarch

Like other monarchs and flycatchers, the Black-faced Monarch has bristles around its bill to help it catch insects.

Black-faced Monarch

SG Lane © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Black-faced Monarch

Identification

The Black-faced Monarch has a distinctive black face that does not extend across the eyes, grey upperparts, wings and upper breast, contrasting with a rufous (red-orange) belly. The dark eye has a thin black eye ring and a lighter area of pale grey around it. The blue-grey bill has a hooked tip. Young birds are similar but lack the black face, have a black bill and tend to have a brownish body and wings. The Black-faced Monarch is one of the monarch flycatchers, a forest and woodland-dwelling group of small insect-eating birds, and is strictly arboreal (found in trees).

Size range

16 cm to 19 cm

Similar Species

Black-winged Monarch, Spectacled Monarch

Distribution

The Black-faced Monarch is found along the coast of eastern Australia, becoming less common further south.

Habitat

The Black-faced Monarch is found in rainforests, eucalypt woodlands, coastal scrub and damp gullies. It may be found in more open woodland when migrating.

Seasonality

Resident in the north of its range, but is a summer breeding migrant to coastal south-eastern Australia, arriving in September and returning northwards in March. It may also migrate to Papua New Guinea in autumn and winter.

Feeding and Diet

The Black-faced Monarch forages for insects among foliage, or catches flying insects on the wing.

Communication

Clear whistled 'why-you-whichye-oo'; also creaks, chatters and scolds.

Mating and reproduction

The Black-faced Monarch builds a deep cup nest of casuarina needles, bark, roots, moss and spider web in the fork of a tree, about 3 m to 6 m above the ground. Only the female builds the nest, but both sexes incubate the eggs and feed the young.

  • Breeding season: October to January
  • Clutch size: Two to three

Classification

Species:
melanopsis
Genus:
Monarcha
Family:
Dicruridae
Order:
Passeriformes
Class:
Aves
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


Ondine Evans
Last Updated:

Tags BIBY, bird, birds, black faced monarch, flycatchers,