For a small bird that is brightly coloured during breeding season, the male Superb fairy-wren is a noisy bird that likes to alert everything nearby that a stranger has come close or into its territory. It is a curious bird that will pop up onto a branch, have a look at the potential danger and then disappear quickly back into low foliage. Over winter, spring and early summer, I have been paying extra attention to these little birds, participating in the study to gauge the male’s transition to full breeding plumage each year. We are supposed to track what plumage stage each bird is in that we find as we walk our favourite areas. The species has a defined territory making the little tribe (2 to 6 birds) easier to find each time. The study has made it more interesting finding this quite common bird. Usually I just record it as a day or site tick on my list and then ignore it. Having to study the individual family groups for a 15-20 minutes session, identifying the sexes, plumage phase types, general activity and any interaction between groups makes it much more interesting. A by-product of this stationary watch means I see others birds as they fly by or pop out of the nearby scrub.
That is an interesting project Malt. These little guys have been known to have up to three breeds a year, especially with the weather the way it is. They have a reputation for being a bit ‘naughty’ at times, but their colour is a good distraction for their family’s protection as they keep watch for intruders.
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It is interesting Ash, and does make visiting an ordinary spot a bit more enticing. Here is the reference and links to the project. https://ebird.org/australia/news/the-fairywren-project-teaming-up-with-ebirders-to-capture-variation-in-australias-fairy-wrens