Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Superb Fairy-Wren Malurus cyaneus

A male photographed on the 20th August 2012
at my neighbour Carol's place.
Currently this little bird, which is a male, is breeding/nesting with it's mate. It is not a good photograph and the photo was taken late in the afternoon. The female is a brown colour. This male bird allowed me to photograph it but I can never get a clear or close shot of it. The male stays still for about 10 seconds, at most, before it takes off again. The female is even more elusive and won't stay still in order to be photographed.

The Superb Fairy-Wren is very fast moving and is often sighted flying about or eating (grass seeds?) on the ground where there is dense cover nearby. It is more commonly sighted in Tenterfield when it is not breeding in small family groups of up to 20 birds, usually only one adult male bird is in the group.

When these birds are out in the open far between dense covering, they fly fast between bushes and/or trees that have dense cover to it. I have seen these birds on my front lawn. As the females/juveniles eat from my front lawn the male is in a nearby tree or bush keeping a look out for predators, whether it be bigger birds, humans or anything else that moves.

Superb Fairy-Wren behaviour is different when it is not breeding. When it is not breeding the male will get about 6-8 feet from you on the ground as long as you keep still. When it is breeding you cannot get any closer than 30 feet from the male, and the female is even more skittish than the male this time of the year.

The Superb Fairy Wrens are breeding in a thick, dense bush which also has thorns on it. Their nesting location I will not identify but I know where it is. The nest is somewhere between 0 and 6 feet off the ground.


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