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16

Variegated Fairy-wren

(Malurus lamberti)
Alternate name(s): "Lavender-flanked Wren", "Bernier Island Blue Wren", "Lambert's Superb Warbler", "Lambert's Wren", "Dulcet Fairy Wren"
Size: 13-14 cm
Weight: 6-11 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Variegated Fairy-wren at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cooloola NP, QLD, January 2019]

Lateral view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[South West Rocks, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in breeding plumage; note the grey nape of the neck
(photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Kyogle, NSW, August 2013]

Partly cropped near-dorsal view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in breeding plumage; note the grey nape of the neck
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Anstead, QLD, June 2017]

NON-BREEDING

Near-lateral view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, June 2018]

Lateral view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, June 2018]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Variegated Fairy-wren (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, June 2018]

Lateral view of a female Variegated Fairy-wren in a state of excitement
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, June 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Jan Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 14 - 16 days Fledging age: 10 - 12 days

Variegated Fairy-wren nest in a low shrub (photo courtesy of E. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, September 2016]

Variegated Fairy-wrens have a particularly short fledging period for their chicks, compared to the incubation period.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Family clan

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Dome Material: Bark fibres, grass stems, webs Height above ground: 0.1 - 0.4 m

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 17 x 13 mm Colour: Creamy, with light-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Family clan

Although territorial, we have seen Variegated Fairy-wrens share their territories with Superb Fairy-wrens, even during the breeding season.

Like other Fairy-wrens, male Variegated Fairy-wrens have distinctly different breeding and eclipse plumages.

Lateral view of a male Variegated Fairy-wren moulting into breeding plumage
[Manning Point, NSW, July 2013]

Food, Diet

Fairy-wrens feed on small animals, such as insects.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

varwren_art_20131125.mp3 lamberti
(SE QLD)
Pair Q&A © ART

More Variegated Fairy-wren sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.