Supurb Fairywren, Malurus cyaneus

The Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), is an ordinary passerine bird of the fairy-wren family Maluridae. This bird is also known as the Superb Blue-wren or informally as Blue wren. It can be found throughout southeastern Australia, and is territorial and not migratory. This particular species presents a great level of sexual dimorphism. The breeding feathers of the male are a vibrant blue on the forehead, ear conceals, tail and mantle, with black covering the face. The throat is sometimes dark blue or black. The remaining non-breeding males, females and adolescents appear mainly grey-brown in color. Tasmanian form cyaneus and native form cyanochlamys are the two subspecies that are identified. The cyaneus are bigger and richer in color while the cyanochlamys are more petite and paler.

The Superb Fairy-wren is known for its odd behavior of having only one mate during breeding season yet being sexually promiscuous. Each year the male and female will breed with other birds and help raise the little ones from the couplings. As part of the mating process, the male picks yellow flower petals and gifts them to the females.

The birds live in almost any geographical region that has low-lying vegetation for protection. In addition, they can be found in domestic gardens. Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne are suburban areas that the bird has quickly adjusted to. Primarily the bird feeds on insects with seeds to supplement its diet.

Image Caption: Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), Male, Peter Murrell Reserve, Tasmania, Australia. Credit: JJ Harrison/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)