|Copyright: Maurie Leeder (Maurie)
|Date Taken: 2005-11-07|
|Camera: Olympus C760 UZ|
|Exposure: f/3.7, 1/250 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2011-01-04 14:46|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), also known as the Superb Blue-wren or colloquially as the Blue Wren, is a passerine bird of the Maluridae family, common and familiar across south-eastern Australia. The species is sedentary and territorial, also exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism; the male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour; this gave the early impression that males were polygamous as all dull-coloured birds were taken for females. Two subspecies are recognized: the larger and darker Tasmanian form cyaneus and the smaller and paler mainland form cyanochlamys.|
Like other fairywrens, the Superb Fairywren is notable for several peculiar behavioural characteristics; the birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display.
The Superb Fairywren can be found in almost any area that has at least a little dense undergrowth for shelter, including grasslands with scattered shrubs, moderately thick forest, woodland, heaths, and domestic gardens. It has adapted well to the urban environment and is common in suburban Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The Superb Fairywren mainly eats insects and supplements its diet with seeds.
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