07 July, 2012

Superb Fairywren

Scientific Name: Malurus cyaneus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where found in forested areas in southeastern part of the country.

Field Notes: Small passerine with long, thin tail almost always cocked up. Female light brown above, white below, with orange patch around the eye (bottom photo). Juveniles and non breeding males similar except tail blue. Breeding males with black upper parts, white underneath, and bright blue cap, cheek patch, and collar around back of neck (top photo). Non-overlapping with similar Splendid Wren.

Personal Notes: Quite common around Canberra, particularly in the Australian National Botanical Gardens. As it was winter, we were surprised to find a male in breeding plumage, which Richard persevered to get an excellent photo of! Later seen in abundance on the coast, where they were jumping straight up into the air to get bugs.

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