Interesting Birds – Fairywrens of Australia & New Guinea

Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti) by Ian

Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti) by Ian


I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalm 50:11)

To listen – Fairywrens by Creation Moments

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian

There are 13 species of a brightly plumed little songbird known as the fairy wren. The birds are found in Australia and New Guinea. So colorful are their feathers that the various species go by names like “superb,” “splendid” and “lovely.” However, even more noteworthy is the birds’ unusual behavior.

A male courting a female will bring her a flower petal. The petal usually matches his color or is a deeply contrasting color. Normally a perky little bird with an upright tail, when courting he lowers his tail and creeps around close to the ground. As he twists his body back and forth, he puffs out his cheek feathers. If the female accepts his courting, she builds their nest alone, lining it with bright parrot feathers. While they mate for life, they are not known for fidelity to their mates. When mature, females will go off on their own, but males may stay with their parents for a year or more. Their main duty is to guard the family nest. If danger approaches the nest, the guard will puff up his wings, lower his tail and scuttle through dry grass, pretending to be a mouse. The idea is to lure the predator away from the nest.

Lovely Fairywren (Malurus amabilis) by Ian

Lovely Fairywren (Malurus amabilis) by Ian

The beauty and unusual behavior of these little birds testifies to more than God’s creativity and love for beauty. They remind us of the beauty that was lost to God’s creation when it was tainted by man’s sin. Thankfully, some of that beauty that was lost can return to our lives through the forgiveness of sins that is found in Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You for the beauty of Your creation and for giving me the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. Amen.

References: Natural History, 11/94, pp. 56-62, “Faithful Philanderers

Copyright © 2010 Creation Moments, Inc., PO Box 839, Foley, MN  56329,

The Fairywrens are in the Maluridae – Australasian Wrens Family which is part of the Passeriforms Order. They are like in the true wrens (Troglodytidae family) in their shape and the way they cock their long tail. The Maluridae family not only includes the Fairywren, but also the Emu-wren and Grasswren. They range from 5-7.5 in (12-19 cm) to 8-8.5 in (20-22 cm). Most have a short, fine bill, while the Grasswren’s is a little thicker.

Superb Fairywren by Keith Blomerly

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