Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus

Superb Fairy-wren

Malurus cyaneus

Family: Maluridae (Fairy-wrens, Emu-wrens, Grasswrens, 20 species in Australia)
Size: 14 cm (But they look smaller since their tails are often pointed up in the air)
Distribution: The Eastern 2/3 of NSW, Most of VIC, TAS, Several hundred km into SE QLD and small parts of SE SA
Status: Common
Habitat: Open forests, swamps, coastal areas, rainforests, gardens. Often on the ground and in family groups.
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Superb Fairy-wren is a lovely bird (there is another species that is actually called the Lovely Fairy-wren, but it is only found in far North QLD). It is often seen in gardens and parks in the Blue Mountains. They are usually on the ground or near it and rarely seen alone.

In the breeding season, half of the adult male bird develops a bright blue/black colouring, like in the photos below. When not in breeding colours, he looks similar to the brown ones in the photos below (which is how the females look all year round).

One of their calls is a trill that descends in pitch and is quite recognisable once you get to know the sound of it.

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High Resolution (995 x 712)

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources

The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator) - Superb Fairy-wren - Malurus cyaneus NEW: The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator).

Revised Edition 2019. Original edition published 2017. This is a newer Australian bird field guide that I just got recently. It may be the best one out of all of them now. Though I still like the pictures better in "Simpson and Day" in terms of their artistic value, and that they just look more interesting to me than the drawings in any other bird field guide I've seen. This one has more "clinical" looking pictures. They are coloured artist-rendered drawings, not photographs. Though the more "clinical" look is meant to be more anatomically accurate, and better for identification.

The rest of the book is wonderful, with different coloured regions on the range maps, and very high quality information overall. It was the winner in its category for an Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) award for book of the year in 2018.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Purchase from Amazon.com (USA Site)

Purchase from Amazon.com.au (Australian Site)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
Return to Site Map

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