Splendid Blue Wren

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Yelverton Brook has wide range of birds in the Conservation Sanctuary. The Splendid Blue Wren - is one of 4 usual species sighted in our sanctuary. This is a male which is just loosing some of his vibrant Blue colouring after breeding time in the Australian spring / summertime. 

The official name is "Malurus splendens"


Like other Fairywrens, the Splendid Fairywren is notable for several peculiar behavioural characteristics; the birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such trysts. Male wrens pluck pink or purple petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display.

Breeding 

Breeding occurs from late August through to January, though heavy rain in August may delay this. The nest is built by the female; it is a round or domed structure made of loosely woven grasses and spider webs, with an entrance in one side closer to the ground and well-concealed in thick and often thorny vegetation. One or two broods may be laid during the breeding season. A clutch of two to four dull white eggs with reddish-brown splotches and spots, measuring 12 × 16 mm (½ × ⅝ in), are laid. Incubation takes about two weeks. 

The female incubates the eggs for 14 or 15 days; after hatching, nestlings are fed and their fecal sacs removed by all group members for 10–13 days, by which time they are fledged. Young birds remain in the family group as helpers for a year or more before moving to another group, usually an adjacent one, or assuming a dominant position in the original group. In this role they feed and care for subsequent broods.

Colour

The breeding males' blue plumage, particularly the ear-coverts, is highly iridescent due to the flattened and twisted surface of the babrukes. The blue plumage also reflects ultraviolet light strongly, and so may be even more prominent to other fairy wrens, whose colour vision extends into this part of the spectrum.

Family

They hang out in family groups but usually with only one adult male then all his girls. Currently we have a small gang that visit our office each day for breakfast then sometimes later on for some meal-worms. They mainly eat insects and supplement their diet with seeds. They actually managed 3 x clutches this year nesting in the orchard as they have learnt how to slip into the orchard through some small holes in the netting.

They love to snuggle up on a branch together, like peas in a pod. They will hop on top of each other to move along & slip in close. This family will now fly into our home or the workshop if we leave the door open looking for Simon  They are an amazing stress release to watch up so close and our swing chair out the front is an ideal way to relax with them.

The female Wrens are rather drab soft grey colours with a bit of blue on their tail feathers. ATM they have grown their winter fluffy feathers ready for the cold weather then they will be off to select a new nesting spot ready for breeding  in spring. The cycle starts all over again, no virus worries for these guys!

 

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