The Superb Fairy-Wren (Malurus cyaneus), is also known as the blue wren. It is a passerine bird, native to southeastern Australia.
When the male is ready to mate, it has a bright iridescent blue forehead, ear feathers, neck feathers and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. Non-breeding males, females and young birds are grey-brown in colour.
When an animal’s colour changes for breeding, it is called dimorphism.
Superb Fairy-Wrens can be found in dense undergrowth, grasslands, forests, and domestic gardens in urban areas, especially near water.
It can grow to 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) in length, and most of the length is its tail.
The Superb Fairy-Wren is insectivorous, eating mostly insects and sometimes seeds. They ‘hop-search’ for food.
Females lay 3-4 white eggs with red-brown spots, which are incubated for about 14 days. Newborn chicks Newborn chicks are blind, red and featherless, which is known as altricial. Their eyes open afer five or six days, and they are fully feathered by the tenth day. 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 honeyeaters and thornbills.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM