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Australian Birds - the Superb Fairy Wren

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

One of the most beautiful and adored Australian Birds has to be the Superb Fairy Wren. The males especially, with their brilliant splashes of blue colouring, contrasting against the black plumage that covers their neck and head.

A male Superb Fairy Wren
"Nobelius Wren"

They are a very small bird at just 14cm long and weighing between 8 and 13 grams. I often wonder what it must be like to be so small and so fragile. I guess this is why they favour a habitat where they have good cover from low shrubs and bushes.

Superb Fairy Wrens will feed on the ground using what is called "hop-searching," bouncing and hopping around in small social groups to find small insects. They never feed far from cover as this method of feeding leaves them exposed to predators. It also makes them notoriously hard to photograph!

Studies show that Superb Fairy Wrens may be equipped to cope with Climate Change. They can alter the size of the eggs they lay to give their chicks a better chance of survival. The females have been found to create larger eggs with more nutrients in hotter weather, so that the chicks are stronger when they hatch and better able to cope with the lack of food that may be available during hotter periods. Proof of nature's amazing ability to adapt.

A female Superb Fairy Wren
"Pretty One"

I have spent a lot of time trying to get decent photographs of Superb Fairy Wrens. The shot above, "Nobelius Wren" was the first successful photo of a male that I took. I also happened to take it on the very first day that I went out specifically to take photos of Superb Fairy Wrens!

I'd had a lot of people visiting my Market Stall where I sell my Nature Photography, asking me if I had any photos of Fairy Wrens. I got sick of saying "No, sorry, no decent ones," so I made a decision to go out and get one. I ended up in just the right place at the right time that day and the little guy in the photo above stayed just long enough on that broken fern frond for me to capture that photo.

I have a number of pretty good shots of Super Fairy Wrens now but I still want some that are even better. I also desire to get shots of other species of Wrens, such as the Splendid Fairy Wren, the Variegated Fairy Wren, the Purple-crowned Fairy Wren, and the list goes on! I will forever continue my search for these elusive, delicate and stunningly beautiful little birds.

A male Superb Fairy Wren, enjoying the rain while perching on the Mullberry bush outside my bedroom window
Male Superb Fairy Wren

Visit my Shop for Barry Callister Photography products featuring Superb Fairy Wrens.

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