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Island Monarch

Monarcha cinerascens

The Island Monarch, known scientifically as Monarcha cinerascens, is a captivating bird belonging to the Monarchidae family. This species exhibits a modest plumage, which allows it to blend seamlessly into the lush environments of its habitat.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Island Monarch, one should look for its characteristic grey head, a feature that has earned it alternate names such as the Grey-headed Monarch and Island Grey-headed Monarch Flycatcher. Observers should note the bird's overall coloration and subtle distinguishing marks that set it apart from other species.


The Island Monarch is a denizen of subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, as well as subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. These habitats provide the necessary cover and food sources for the species to thrive.


This species has a wide range, extending from Sulawesi to the Solomon Islands. Its presence across various islands underscores its adaptability to different island ecosystems.


The Island Monarch is a diverse species with ten recognized subspecies, each with its own unique distribution across various islands and archipelagos. These subspecies include M. c. commutatus, M. c. cinerascens, M. c. inornatus, M. c. steini, M. c. geelvinkianus, M. c. fuscescens, M. c. fulviventris, M. c. perpallidus, M. c. impediens, and M. c. rosselianus. The subspecies nigrirostris was recently lumped with impidiens.

Conservation Status

The Island Monarch is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its population numbers that would warrant a higher level of concern.

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More Monarchs

A photo of a White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis)

White-eared Monarch

Carterornis leucotis
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