The Superb Fairy-Wren (Malurus cyaneus) is a small passerine song bird. It is also known as the Blue Wren.
The male Superb Fairy-Wren has a bright iridescent blue forehead, ear feathers, neck feathers and tail, with a black mask and a black or dark-blue throat. Non-breeding males, females, and young wrens are grey-brown in colour.
The Superb Fairy-Wren is native to south-eastern Australia. It can be found in dense undergrowth, grasslands, forests, and domestic gardens in urban areas, especially near water.
It can grow to 14 centimetres (6 inches) in length, and most of the length is its tail.
The Superb Fairy-Wren is insectivorous, eating mostly insects and sometimes seeds. It ‘hop-searches’ for food.
The female lays 3-4 white eggs with red-brown spots, which are incubated for about 14 days. Newborn chicks are blind, red, and featherless, which is known as altricial. Their eyes open after 5-6 days, and they are fully feathered after 10 days. Fledglings are able to feed themselves after 40 days, but remain in the family group for a year or more before moving to another group.
The Superb Fairy-Wren is not related to the true Wren. Taxonomists think it is related to the Honeyeater and the Thornbill.
[Location of photographs: Adelaide, Australia]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM