The three 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, and 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, and the females duller green.
These species eat fruit, especially figs, and possibly 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 (I. puella) occurs across southern Asia, the Philippine fairy-bluebird (I. cyanogastra) in that archipelago, and the Palawan fairy-bluebird (I. tweeddalii) on the island of Palawan.
The Asian fairy-bluebird has a discontinuous distribution from India to Java and Vietnam. In India the species is present in the south west of the country and in the north east. From Burma it has a continuous distribution (in suitable habitat) throughout most of South East Asia, and down into Borneo and Sumatra, as well as on the Andaman Islands. The species is rare in Sri Lanka. The Philippine fairy-bluebird is found on Luzon, Polillo, Leyte, Samar, Mindanao, Dinagat and Basilan. The Palawan fairy-bluebird is endemic to island of Palawan.
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 generally found in the canopy.