Superb Fairy Wren
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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    splendid fairy wren photo
  • An Australian Softbill                                        (Click on photo to enlarge) (Mainland form)
  • Scientific Name:  Malurus cyaneus
  • Common Name/s:  SUPERB FAIRY WREN,  BLUE WREN.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None, but has two forms.  The "mainland form" and the "Tasmanian form".
  • Origin / Distribution:  Mainland form = South east part of Queensland, eastern half of New South Wales, all of Victoria, and the south-west part of South Australia.  Tasmanian form = all of Tasmania and some offshore islands.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Prefer areas of open forest, low dense shrubs and bushes.  Often visits residential areas and parklands.
  • Status In Wild:  Secure, subject to preservation of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure, but not common.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  Less than 12 months.
  • Adult plumage:  Can be sexed at about 5 - 6 months.  Moult again at about 11 - 12 months, and full adult plumage is attained.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  12 months to 4th year
  • Lifespan (estimate):  Life span about 5 - 6 years.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic Adult birds are dimorphic, but young birds are difficult to sex and may require DNA sexing.
  • Colour mutations:  None
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Mainly  insect eaters.  Fairy wrens are aggressive birds.  In the wild they form family groups with one dominant breeding pair.  For best results keep one pair per planted aviary.  Fairy wrens can generally be kept with finches and Neophema parrots although care must be taken when cock birds are  housed with similar coloured finches.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $100
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 130 mm (or approx  5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above - top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" web page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Softbills" web page for general details on the housing of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

In the wild a pair of Superb Fairy Wrens plus their helpers can occupy and defend a territory/area of up to 2 hectares (about 5 acres).

As per "Fairy Wrens" article on the top portion of the "Softbills" web page.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Softbills" web page for general details on the nutrition of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

As per "Fairy Wrens" article on the top portion of the "Softbills" web page.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  Early spring to late summer.
  • Nesting receptacles:  Nest is often built in a shrub or in a grass tussock.
  • Nest:  They builds a domed nest out of grasses, plant material, twigs, short pieces of teased hessian and other materials.  The nest has a side entrance.  Nest is lined with soft materials and soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

The nest is built low to the ground or up to a height of about 1500 mm (4 - 5 feet) above the ground.  The nest is usually well hidden in the vegetation.

Breeding: Egg Colour.. pinkish/reddish-white, with brown spots.  Clutch/s per year 2-3.  Eggs per nest  2 - 4.  Incubation approx. 13-14 days.  Fledge approx.  2 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 4 weeks.

In the wild a nesting group may consist of the dominant breeding pair plus up to 4 additional sexually mature helpers.  The additional helpers do not raise a nest of their own but co-operate with the dominant breeding pair and care for the young in the nest and for the young when they fledge.  The helper cock birds do develop the nuptial breeding plumage.  The hen, in the wild, will mate with males from outside her territory and the young in the nest may all be fathered by different males.

Refer to "Fairy Wrens" article on the top portion of the "Softbills" web page.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues:  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 49 No. 6 Jun 1995 Page 125-127
  • A/A Vol 44 No. 4 Apr 1990 Page 77-79
  • A/A Vol 40 No. 9 Sep 1986 Page 209-210 (Inc Photo)
  • A/A Vol 24 No. 7 Jul 1970 Page 93-94.
  • A/A Vol 24 No. 1 Jan 1970 Page 14-15.
  • A/A Vol 11 No 2 Feb 1957 Page 19-20.
  • A/A Vol 8 No 9 Sept 1954 Page 111-112.
  • A/A Vol 6 No 6 Jun 1952 Page 71.
  • A/A Vol 5 No 10 Oct 1951 Page 123-124.
  • A/A Vol 5 No 6 Jun 1951 Page 76, 72.
  • A/A Vol 5 No 3 Mar 1951 Page 34-35.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 15 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2003 Page 351-352
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1995 Page 338-342
  • ABK Vol  5 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1992 Page 188-189

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