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New lease of life for original lighthouse vents

15/05/2018

As part of the ongoing conservation of the Cape Bruny and Maatsuyker Island lighthouses, a team effort has been underway to restore the original bronze vents from the lighthouses' lantern rooms.More

Record visitor numbers at Highfield Historic Site

09/05/2018

Visitation numbers at Highfield Historic Site in Stanley have reached a record high, with 12,535 people visiting in the 12 months ending March 2018.More

Cradle Mountain shuttle bus tender awarded

08/05/2018

A new bus fleet featuring environmentally friendly technology and vehicles with improved accessibility and increased capacity will help to meet increasing visitor numbers following the awarding of the tender to McDermott Coaches.More

Superb Fairy-wren, Malurus cyaneus

Male Superb Fairy-wren
Photograph by Alex Dudley

Male Superb Fairy-wren
(Photograph by Alex Dudley)

Description

A common, widespread and well-known small bird, up to 140mm, the male Superb Fairy-wren has a distinctive sky-blue crown, ear coverts and upper back. The chest and throat are a dark blue and the belly is grey-white and the wings are brown. The long tail -  typical of wrens - is dark blue.

Females and young birds are brown above with a dull red-orange area around the eye and a brown bill. The legs are brown in both sexes.

Habitat

The Superb Fairy-wren occurs in a range of habitats from open forest and woodland to scrub where suitable dense cover occurs. They are common in urban parks and gardens, often in small social groups. These groups normally consist of one male and several females and young birds.

Diet

Female Superb Fairy-wren
Photograph by Steve Johnson

Female Superb Fairy-wren
(Photograph by Steve Johnson)

The Superb Fairy-wren eats insects and small arthropods from among the undergrowth and leaf litter. Feeding often takes place in small social groups.

Breeding

The breeding season runs from September to March. The nest, constructed by the female, is a dome-shaped structure of grasses and other fine material, usually in a low bush. The female incubates the three to four eggs alone, but both sexes feed the chicks. Other members of the group will also help with the feeding of the young, allowing two to three broods to be produced each season.

Call

superb fairy wren

To advertise, defend territory and keep close together, both sexes of the Superb fairy-wren have a song comprising of loud, rapid notes ending in a trill.

Distribution

Found in suitable habitat throughout Tasmania.
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania