Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella)

The Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) is a medium-sized, arboreal passerine bird. This fairy-bluebird is found in forests across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayan foothills, India and Sri Lanka east through Indochina, the Greater Sundas and Palawan (Philippines). Two or three eggs are laid in a small cup nest in a tree. It was described by British ornithologist John Latham in 1790. The only other member of the genus and family is the Philippine Fairy-bluebird, I. cyanogastra, which replaces the Asian Fairy-bluebird in most of the Philippines.

Thattekad Asian Fairy-bluebird3

I saw this one in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India.  It’s quite easy to get there using airline miles as you can see by my detailed blog post on “Getting to Central Asia“.

Asian Fairy-bluebird range with red dot indicating Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Thankfully this beautiful bird is not endangered as it is quite widespread.  This also makes it more likely you will be lucky enough to see one in the wild.  Places to visit include Sri Lanka; the western coast of India from Travancore up to the latitude of Belgaum and Sawantwadi; Sikkim and the lower ranges of the Himalayas to Dibrugarh in Assam; the Khasi Hills; Cachar; Manipur; Arrakan; Bago and Taninthayi Division in Burma; the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In southeast Asia it occurs throughout most of Indochina (including Peninsular Malaysia), Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Palawan, and on smaller nearby islands. In the Indian part of its range this species is confined to the evergreen forests of the hills and plains, but elsewhere it is regular in various types of humid and deciduous forests from lowlands up to about 1,600 metres (5,200 ft).