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Azure-crested Flycatcher
Bluecrestedflycatcher
Information
Common Name Blue-crested Flycatcher
Range Fiji, where it is found on the islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae
Genus Myiagra
Species Myiagra azureocapilla
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Azure-crested flycatcher or blue-crested flycatcher (Myiagra azureocapilla), is a species of monarch flycatcher in the Monarchidae family. It is endemic to Fiji, where it is found on the islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Taxonomy

The azure-crested flycatcher was first described in 1875 by ornithologist Edgar Leopold Layard, Administrator of the Government of the Colony of Fiji at the time. Its specific epithet is derived from the Latin azureus 'blue', and capillus 'of the head'. It is also commonly known as the Blue-crested Broadbill, or the azure-crested flycatcher.

It is a member of a group of birds termed monarch flycatchers. This group is considered either as a subfamily Monarchinae, together with the fantails as part of the drongo family Dicruridae, or as a family Monarchidae in its own right. They are not closely related to either their namesakes, the Old World flycatchers of the family Muscicapidae; early molecular research in the late 1980s and early 1990s revealed the monarchs belong to a large group of mainly Australasian birds known as the Corvida parvorder comprising many tropical and Australian passerines. More recently, the grouping has been refined somewhat as the monarchs have been classified in a 'Core corvine' group with the crows and ravens, shrikes, bird-of-paradise, fantails, drongos and Australian mudnesters.

There are three subspecies of azure-crested flycatcher. The nominate race Myiagra azureocapilla azureocapilla breeds in Taveuni, Myiagra azureocapilla castaneigularis in Vanua Levu (except the Natewa Peninsula) and Myiagra azureocapilla whitneyi in Viti Levu.

Description

Measuring 14 cm (5.5 in) in length, the Blue-crested Flycatcher is sexually dimorphic. The male has light blue crown with slate-blue upperparts, and white underparts. The female in brown above with greyish tinged cheeks and bluish tinged crown. Unusually for the genus Myiagra the bill is bright orange instead of black.

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