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New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon

08/08/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.
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Celebrating World Ranger Day

31/07/2018

The work of Tasmania's rangers is vital in the daily management of our 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves, encompassing approximately 50 per cent of the State.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.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