Superb fairy-wren

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Superb fairy-wren
a small long-tailed vivid pale blue and black bird perched among some grasslike vegetation
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Malurus cyaneus
Ellis, 1782
  • M. c. cyaneus
  • M. c. cyanochlamys
Dist blue wren.png
Superb fairywren range
  M. c. cyanochlamys;   M. c. cyaneus

The superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), also known as the blue wren, is a passerine bird of the family Maluridae. It is common and familiar across southeastern Australia.

Each pair has a territory, also shows obvious sexual dimorphism. The male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. However, non-breeding males, females and juveniles are mostly grey-brown in colour.

Like other fairy-wrens, it has several peculiar behavioural characteristics. The birds are socially monogamous but sexually promiscuous. They form pairs between one male and one female, but each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display.

The superb fairy-wren can be found in almost any area that has at least a little dense undergrowth for shelter, including grasslands with scattered shrubs, moderately thick forest, woodland, heaths, and domestic gardens. It has adapted well to the urban environment and is common in suburban Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The superb fairy-wren eats mostly insects and supplements its diet with seeds.

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Malurus cyaneus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)