Irena puella

NZ Misc 21 09 20 ONB AD LR 44
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Irenidae

Head to Gems of the Jungle to spot our fairy-bluebirds – they can be found in one of the aviary’s towards the back of the exhibit.

Fairy-bluebirds inhabit lowland forests across tropical southern Asia, from Himalaya foothills, India and Sri Lanka, Indochina, Greater Sundas and Philippines.

They feed mainly on fruits, from small berries to figs. They may seasonally take nectar from flowers in some parts of the range and will also catch termites in the air.

Interesting facts!

  • They are sexually dimorphic in their plummage, with the male being much brighter and more colourful than the female. The males crown, hind neck, back and upper tail an iridescent blue and the underside, including the legs and feet, a dark blue or black. Females and juveniles are a dull bluish green or purple.
  • Male courtship displays include elaborate vocalizations, to which the female responds by building a nest.


Fairy-bluebirds are dependent upon fruit producing forests. Populations are declining due to habitat destruction, hunting and fragmentation.