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13 Aug 2018

Behold! The Superb Fairy-wren

The Superb Fairy-wren is one of the best known and most popular of Sydney’s birds. Although small, the male’s striking black and sky-blue plumage means that the species stands out as one of the more vibrant (and adorable) birds in Centennial Park.

As August’s bird of the month, we’re celebrating this superb little bird with some fun facts!

About the Superb Fairy-wren

Fairy-wrens love their family. They live in family groups which consist of a single breeding-pair that are supported by younger males and females, who work together to feed and protect the chicks. Working as a group improves breeding success, and the breeding pair can nest up to 3 times in a season as a result. How’s that for team work?

During the breeding season, males have elaborate courting rituals which include bringing flower petals to their potential mate.

Where can I find them?

Superb Fairy-wrens are found throughout south-eastern Australia from the tropic of Capricorn in Queensland, down to Tasmania and across to Port Lincoln in South Australia and extending across the Great Dividing Range into the central west.

They occupy many different habitats, from rainforest to open woodland and coastal heath. Despite their small size (up to 12 grams) they have maintained their presence in our major cities, often being found in suburban parks such as Centennial Park and gardens with dense shrubs.

A female Superb Fairy-wren

In the Park

In Centennial Park, the Superb Fairy-wren is most often seen feeding on the edges of playing fields or lawns close to dense vegetation into which they can rapidly disappear at any approach of danger.

Their natural predators are generally the larger birds we see in the park, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawongs, Laughing Kookaburra, etc. as well as cats, dogs, foxes, and rats. Members of the superb ‘family’ will often run, crouched low with wings spread and making alarm calls, to distract a predator from the nest site.

If you want to keep these cute little birds safe, make sure to keep your pets at a safe distance. You can also encourage them to visit your garden at home, by planting several native shrubs close together to form dense, protective thickets.

If you see one of these adorable little birds then share your photos by tagging us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

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