SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Fairy-bluebird

The two fairy-bluebirds are small passerine bird species found in forests and plantations in tropical southern Asia and the Philippines. They are the sole members of the genus Irena and family Irenidae, are related to the ioras and leafbirds; these are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, fairy-bluebirds are sexually dimorphic, with the males being dark blue in plumage, the females duller green. These species eat fruit figs, some insects, they lay two to three eggs in a tree nest. The call of the Asian fairy-bluebird is a liquid two note Glue-It; as the names would suggest, the Asian fairy-bluebird occurs across southern Asia, the Philippine fairy-bluebird in that archipelago. The first scientists to examine fairy-bluebirds placed them in the roller genus Coracias on the strength of the iridescent blue plumage on the back; this was challenged in the 1820s by Thomas Horsfield and Coenraad Temminck, who suggested a relationship instead with the drongos.

It was variously placed with the orioles as well. On the basis of the DNA-DNA hybridization studies of Sibley and Alhquist its closest relatives have now been identified as the leafbirds; the leafbirds are sometimes included in the family Irenidae with the fairy-bluebirds, but the time since the apparent divergence suggests that they are better treated as separate families. Fairy-bluebirds are robust birds that resemble Old World orioles in size. Males are larger than females, the two species weigh between 50-100 g, with some of that variation being caused by sexual differences and some by geographic variation. There are clines in size differences in both species which can be attributed to Bergmann's rule, with the northernmost populations being larger on average. Both species have a powerful deep and notched bill used for crushing, with that of the Philippine species being larger, their feet are small, which suggests that they spend less time climbing in order to feed and more time on the wing.

The plumage of the fairy-bluebirds is exceptional, with the upperparts being deep rich blue. The Asian fairy-bluebird is sexually dimorphic in its plumage, the male being much brighter than the female, but the Philippine fairy-bluebird exhibits much less difference and the female is as bright as the male; the deep colour is provided by specialised naked feather-tip barbs. Although the fairy-bluebirds are visible in sunlight they are much less visible in the shade of the forest; the Asian fairy-bluebird has a discontinuous distribution from India to Vietnam. In India the species is present in the north east. From Burma it has a continuous distribution throughout most of South East Asia, down into Borneo and Sumatra, as well as on the Andaman Islands; the species has not been reliably recorded on Sri Lanka since the 1870s. The Philippine fairy-bluebird is found on Luzon, Leyte, Mindanao and Basilan; the fairy-bluebirds are dependent upon fruit producing forests, but both species seem to exist in a wide range of forests, both evergreen and semi-evergreen.

Within forests they are found in the canopy. Pairs or small groups of fairy-bluebirds forage to obtain food. Fruit figs in the genus Ficus, are the most important item in the diet of fairy-bluebirds. Fairy-bluebirds will eat fruit of a certain size, will crush larger fruits in order to make them manageable. Most food is obtained in the canopy. In addition to fruit berries may be eaten, as well as nectar, although this behaviour has only been reported in birds in India. In contrast to adults, insects are the principal component of the diet of nestlings. In the Philippines birds have been observed following troops of macaques in order to collect flushed insects. Male courtship displays include elaborate vocalizations, which the female responds to with nest building. Nests are constructed in trees or tall bushes from twigs and grasses, males and females cooperate in rearing chicks. In old Tagalog mythology in southern Luzon, the fairy bluebirds were known as the tigmamanukan omen birds. All of which were the omen birds of Bathala, the supreme god of the Tagalog people prior to the arrival of the Spanish.

According to legend, Bathala ordered a tigmamanukan bird to crack in one peck the bamboo which let out the first man and first woman, Maganda. In another legend, Bathala sends the tigmamanukan bird to aid mankind if they need to proceed or halt a journey. If a traveler sees a tigmamanukan omen, it passes from right to left it symbolizes as labay. If the tigmamanukan omen passes from left to right, the traveller should not proceed, or else he or she will never return. All tigmamanukan omen birds are said to live in the mythical Mount Batala. Fairy-bluebird videos on the Internet Bird Collection

Oleg Efrim

Oleg Efrim is a Moldovan politician and jurist. He has served as the Justice Minister in Second Vlad Filat Cabinet since 6 May 2011 until 18 February 2015, he is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova. Oleg Efrim was born on 4 November 1975 in the village of Corneşti, Ungheni district, Moldavian SSR, USSR, but in documents, is November 7. In 1997 he graduated from the Faculty of Law of the State University of Moldova and from September of the same year he is a lecturer at the State University and a lawyer. Between 2002 and 2008 he was a partner lawyer at the Associate Law Firm "Avornic & Partners". From October 2008 to November 2009 he was the Ombudsman of the Republic of Moldova at the Center for Human Rights. From November 2009 until May 2011 he was Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova. On 6 May 2011, by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova no. 124, was appointed Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova. For the parliamentary elections of 30 November 2014 from Republic of Moldova Oleg Efrim was not included in the list of PLDM candidates for the post of deputy.

On 10 December 2014, following the validation of the vote, the Leancă Cabinet with Efrim in its composition resigned, observing the technical procedure provided by the law. On 16 December 2014 Oleg Efrim said he no longer wanted his job if he would receive from the party the offer to stay in this chair and in the next government. Oleg Efrim is married to Violeta Marian, a singer who together with her sister Nona formed the band "Fresh" in the past, they have a son named Paul