Asian Fairy Bluebird

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Origin: India, Thailand and South East Asia

An easy-to-manage, fruit-based omnivorous soft bill, which once acclimatized, is hardy enough to winter outside, needing only a frost-proof shelter. It has a melodious call and makes a very delightful sight flying in the aviary with its bright blue color and engaging ways. It has very small, delicate feet in relation to its body size and its toes must be protected from frost bite.

This species is able to fly very strongly and needs a spacious aviary. If unable to obtain a pair, one sole cock bird lives quite happily on its own among similar types of birds in a mixed collection, and becomes very tamed.

Description:

Size: 25 cm (10 in)

COCK:

Mantle: blue. Back and area down to base of tail: blue. Other areas: shiny, velvet black. Eyes: red with black pupils.

HEN:

Very similar, but a far more dusky blue. Both cock and hen birds are heavy bodied.

Diet: (Softbill)

Bananas, pears, oranges, soft fruit, cur-rants, sultanas and raisins form the basic diet. Raw minced meat should be given and honey and water mixture poured over sponge cake or stale bread makes a welcome addition to the diet. Live food, such as mealworms and well-cleaned maggots, is necessary. Hard-boiled egg mash is enjoyed. All these ingredients can be mixed together in one dish in the following percentages: 65% fruit, 10%raw minced meat; 10% sponge cake or bread; 10% coarse grade insectile mix and 5% live food. Nectar mix made from proprietary brand nectar powder and honey and water, or sugar and water, may be given in a dish on its own.

Breeding:

The Asian Fairy Bluebird is not too difficult to persuade to breed. It is sometimes difficult to obtain pairs of this attractive species, but zoos and bird gardens occasionally part with surplus stock to keen fanciers.

Pairs use a shallow cup-shaped nesting basket if provided, lined with fine grasses and moss. If left to build their own, they make untidy looking nests in dense bushes, quite high up. Just two small olive grey eggs with brown speckles are laid. Plenty of live food is necessary for chick rearing.

The Asian Fairy Bluebird is fairly docile in a mixed collection of birds of similar size. During the breeding season, however, cock birds can be tempered towards their own kind if several pairs are kept in the same aviary.

The bird is native to countries like India, Java and Vietnam. In India the bird is commonly found in the south west and north eastern parts. From Myanmar onwards the bird can be found covering the entire south East Asian region. To the south the distribution of the bird is up till islands of Indonesia and even Andaman Islands. In Philippines the bird is mainly found in places like Luzon, Polillo, Leyte, Samar, Mindanao, Dinagat and Basilan. The blue bird is common in forests that have fruit based vegetation. But the bird can also be seen in evergreen and semi evergreen forests. In forests the birds are generally spotted in high tree top canopies.

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