A pair of fairy-bluebirds at Sangu reserved forest in Bandarban

There was an ethnic community village inside the deep forest. Five or six huts were on the slopes of the hill. We tented on a green field at the corner of the locality.

At dusk, we would hear chirping of nocturnal birds. They would fill the air with chirping at dawn too.

The area was surrounded by towering trees including bailam and garjon. White flowers were blooming in the bailams. Different parakeets would perch regularly on the bailam branches that time. Usually, we, the birdwatchers, pass very busy time in the early morning, because this is the prime time for spotting flock of lively and colourful birds.

The Asian fairy-bluebirds (Irena puella) seem eye-catching with shiny feathers when the sun rays on them. They grabbed our attention all the days we stayed at Malingapara in the Sangu reserved forest. That pre-spring time was their matting and breeding period. The males would attract the females by melodious tweets. But seldom had they got attention. We observed that females didn’t response to many males. They would pair with males only they had preferred. I found one such a pair. They would soon hatch eggs at their nest.

The fairy-bluebirds make evergreen forest their habitat. They are spotted often at the forests in Sylhet and Chattogram regions. They prefer tall trees for roosting. The birds are mainly frugivore. Sometimes they suck nectar and eat insects.

The fairy-bluebirds frequent at the trees when its fruits ripen. I noticed such of their frequent visits at Kaptai National Park.

Feather of an adult male is lilac blue-black while the female has faded greenish-blue plumage. They build bowl-shape nest with spider net, moss and fibre and lay two or three eggs in a season.

Fairy-bluebirds are rear in Bangladesh. Also the birds are found in India, China, Philippine, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

*This report appeared in Prothom Alo print edition, and has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman