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Join us for the Power of Parks forum at Launceston

22/07/2016

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in partnership with the University of Tasmania is exploring The Power of Parks through a series of UTAS public forums celebrating the benefits that parks and reserves provide to Tasmania's overall identify.More

Shipwreck identified as the Viola

19/07/2016

Timber samples from a ship wrecked on Tasmania's East Coast nearly 160 years ago have been identified as the Canadian-built brig Viola.More

Prosecution for Stanley penguin deaths

15/07/2016

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and the Circular Head Council have conducted a joint investigation after 18 little penguins were found dead near a rookery in Stanley on the State's North-West coast last week.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