Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ABC Wednesday: F is for Fairy Bluebird

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This is a male Fairy Bluebird, Irena puella. There are two species, the Asian Fairy Bluebird you can see here and the Philippine Fairy Bluebird.

Only the males have those striking blue feathers, the females are dark green. Until I wrote this post, I never realized that I did take a photo of a female.
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Wikipedia has a much better one, though.

They feed mainly on fruit, but will also take nectar and insects. Despite their bright colours, they are quite hard to see hidden in the foliage unless a ray of sunlight makes their feathers sparkle. If you do see one, there are probably more around, they live in pairs and even small flocks outside of the breeding season. A fig tree may attract a large crowd of these birds.
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Here's a video of a pair calling together as part of their courtship. Each pair builds a cup-shaped nest and while only the female broods the eggs, both of them will feed the young insects. Usually, there are two chicks.
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all photos were taken at Burgers Zoo, Arnheim

See what else F stands for with ABC Wednesday

Sources and further reading:
Oiseaux Birds
Birding in India
Honolulu Zoo
Wikipedia

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