monarch behaviour

To: <>, <>
Subject: monarch behaviour
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 18:10:34 +1030
Hi Karen, I am sorry for my delay in responding to you.  Thank you for your 
very interesting post about monarch behaviour from 7/04/12 where you observed a 
young male Black-faced Monarch performing.   I have also seen this male display 
within genus Monarcha, however my experience has been with our very poorly 
known Black-winged Monarch.  Like you, I found it difficult to find anything in 
the Australian literature recording this display - even in HANZAB where there 
is no mention of it. I believe that Coates has published material on something 
similar, but this is from extralimital observations,  I think with the Island 
Monarch.I have also asked a number of prominent Australian birders if they knew 
of this behaviour in Monarcha, but apart from the Coates material, no-one had 
any knowledge of it. My experience was in January 2012 at my study site to the 
north of Cooktown. An adult male Black-winged Monarch was lifting & spreading 
his wings while singing his usual song, with the display also including him 
lifting & fanning his tail. His head was held in a number of positions, from 
being held upright & looking side to side, then bowed down in front & then he 
twisted his head up & around to his lower back, as though he were preening. 
When his wings were held up, they were mostly spread & continuously kept at or 
above a horizontal position. However, at times he briefly held his wings down, 
somewhat cuckoo like, but with his tail lifted & fanned at the same time. The 
whole display was seen by me only on one occasion & with no other Black-winged 
Monarchs very closeby. I was very certain that this was a display & not that he 
was merely preening himself. Karen, I have plenty of images recording this 
behaviour & some of these roughies are attached herewith for you. (Of course, 
for all on the Birding-Aus list, these will not be attached here). Please let 
me know what you think & if this is pretty much waht you observed in your young 
 Black-faced Monarch... I would be very interested if anyone else has seen 
anything similar to this. It seems that no-one has, since I haven't seen any 
comments in reply to Karen's on the list... perhaps some were made off-list? 
Best regards for now, Martin Cachard, Cairns, 0428 782 808
 > From: 
> To: 
> Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2012 17:32:36 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] monarch behaviour
> Can anyone tell me whether black-faced monarchs males have any particular
> display to their females? Today I saw an immature male perched on a branch
> and several times he spread his wings and tail and ducked  his head from
> side to side sort of like he was fixing the  feathers on the undersides of
> his wings . Each time he did this, it was followed by a loud burst of song
> then he'd hop to another branch and do it again. I don't know much about
> monarchs and this sort of behaviour isn't mentioned in any of my books.
> Anyone????????
> Karen Hunt
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