Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Spectacled Monarch
Symposiachrus trivirgatus
(Viewing 4 of 8 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Spectacled Monarchs occur down most of the east coast of Australia in rain forests and wet gullies, south to about Newcastle in most years but occasionally as far south as Sydney and rarely to the NSW south coast. There are three subpecies recognised in Australia (more in New Guinea). The very distinctive white-bellied form, albiventris, restricted to Cape York Peninsula is regarded as resident in status (see pic 375205D). Even further south, the subspecies melanorhoa which breeds in the wet tropics between Cairns and Bowen may be resident but nobody knows. Further south the southern subspecies gouldii which breeds between Mackay and southern NSW is strictly migratory, arriving in Sept and departing in March.

Spectacled Monarchs spend most of their time in fairly dimly lit places, in the lower levels of the rainforest, snatching much of their food in the air. After arriving on migration pairs set up breeding territories in much the same place, year after year.


Photo: 375201-D

375201-D ... Spectacled Monarch

Photo: 375202-D

375202-D ... Spectacled Monarch

Photo: 375203-D

375203-D ... Spectacled Monarch nest

Photo: 375204-D

375204-D ... Spectacled Monarch nest and eggs


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