Superb Fairy Wren – National Parks Association of Queensland

Superb Fairy Wren

Photography: Superb Fairy-wren: Samantha Smith

The Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), also known as the Superb Blue Wren, is a species of Australian passerine bird found in the east and south of Australia.

It is the largest species of fairy-wren and is one of the most recognizable birds of the region. The Superb Fairy-wren is a small bird, with a body length of around 15 cm and a wingspan of up to 21 cm.

The male has a bright blue-purple upper body, with a black mask and bright blue tail. The female is brown on the upper body, with a white throat and breast and a brown tail. Both sexes have a short, fine bill.

The Superb Fairy-wren lives in open forests and woodlands, often near water sources such as rivers, creeks and swamps. They feed mainly on insects, spiders, and other invertebrates, which they find by foraging on the ground and in low shrubs and trees.

The Superb Fairy-wren is an active and social bird. It is usually found in pairs or small family groups, with several males and females in each group. During the breeding season, the males become more brightly coloured and sing loudly to attract a mate. The female builds a dome-shaped nest of grasses and other plant material, often in a shrub or tree, and lays 3-5 eggs. The male helps to incubate the eggs, and both parents help to feed and protect the young.

The Superb Fairy-wren is a common and widespread species and is not considered to be threatened. However, it is vulnerable to the destruction of its habitat, and is also at risk from cats and other predators. The Superb Fairy-wren is an iconic species of Australia and is often featured in art and literature.

It is an important part of the Australian bush, and its colourful plumage and cheerful song make it a favourite of birdwatchers and nature-lovers alike.

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