“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” Psalm 50:11

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.

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

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.

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Juvenile and Female ©WikiC

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) Juvenile and Female ©WikiC

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.

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Female by Nick Talbot

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) Female by Nick Talbot

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.

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

Natural History, 11/94, pp. 56 62, “Faithful Philanderers.” Photo: Superb blue fairy-wren. Courtesy of Benjamint444. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
©Creation Moments 2015 used with Permission

Lee’s Addition:
Here are some more photos of the Fairywrens from their Creator:

Creation Moments
“Superb, Splendid and Lovely”
Interesting Things
Fairywren Family
Wordless Birds

The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob

The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob ~ by a j mithra

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian Montgomery

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

The Superb Fairywren is one of 12 species of the genus Malurus, commonly known as Fairywren, also known as the Superb Blue-wren or colloquially as the Blue Wren, is a passerine bird of the Maluridae family found in Australia and lowland New Guinea..

The Superb Fairywren can be found in almost any area that has at least a little dense undergrowth for shelter, including grasslands with scattered shrubs, moderately thick forest, woodland, heaths, and domestic gardens. It has adapted well to the urban environment and is common in suburban Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Superb Fairywrens are predominantly insectivorous. They mainly eats insects and supplements its diet with seeds. They eat a wide range of small creatures (mostly insects such as ants, grasshoppers, shield bugs, flies, weevils and various larvae) as well as small quantities of seeds, flowers, and fruit….

During winter, when food may be scarce, ants are an important ‘last resort’ food, constituting a much higher proportion of the diet Nestlings, in contrast to adult birds, are fed a diet of larger items such as caterpillars and grasshoppers…

Their foraging, termed ‘hop-searching’, occurs on the ground or in shrubs that are less than two meters high. Because this foraging practice renders them vulnerable to predators, birds tend to stick fairly close to cover and forage in groups….

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Female by Nick Talbot

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Female by Nick Talbot

The Superb Fairywren is a cooperative breeding species, with pairs or groups of 3–5 birds maintaining and defending small territories year-round. The group consists of a social pair with one or more male or female helper birds that were hatched in the territory, though they may not necessarily be the offspring of the main pair. These birds assist in defending the territory and feeding and rearing the young…

Birds in a group roost side-by-side in dense cover as well as engaging in mutual preening. The group often shelters and rests together during the heat of the day. If only we, as believers, could learn to stick close together, we can easily turn satan, our predator in to a prey…

That is why the Bible says,

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mathew 18:20

Jesus too asked His disciples to go in twos to minister unto people…

Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come. Luke 10:1

Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm [alone]? Ecclesiastes 4:11

These beautiful birds seem to know the secret of not only sticking close together, but also, engage in mutual preening…

We may call ourselves as the body of Christ but, when are we going to learn to stick together as one and help one another to grow in the Lord?

Several courtship displays by Superb Fairywren males have been recorded. The ‘sea horse flight’, named for its seahorse-like undulations, is one such display. During this exaggerated flight, the male—with his neck extended and his head feathers erect—tilts his body from horizontal to vertical, and descends slowly and springs upwards by rapidly beating his wings after alighting on the ground.

The ‘face fan’ display may be seen as a part of aggressive or sexual display behaviors; it involves the flaring of the blue ear tufts by erecting the feathers…

These male bird’s tilting of its body reminds us of God’s mercy..

The following verse shows the (horizontal) mercy and (vertical) grace of God…

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11, 12

That is the reason Jesus descended slowly from heaven and gave His life for you and me…

Remember He took four thousand years since Adam and Eve to come down from heaven to redeem mankind from sin and shame..

And He ascended rapidly to heaven, to prepare a mansion for us…

Is there a better mating display on the face of the earth than the descending and ascending of our Lord Jesus to save the entire human race? Thank You Jesus, for your mercy and grace…..

Vocal communication among Superb Fairywrens is used primarily for communication between birds in a social group and for advertising and mobbing, or defending a territory. Superb Fairywrens’ alarm call is a series of brief sharp chits, universally given and understood by small birds in response to predators. Females also emit a purr while incubating. The basic, or Type I, song is a 1–4 second high-pitched reel consisting of 10–20 short elements per second and is sung by both males and females. Males also possess a peculiar song-like Type II vocalization, which is given in response to the calls of predatory birds, commonly Grey Butcherbirds (Cracticus torquatus). The purpose of this behavior, which does not elicit a response from other nearby wrens, remains unknown…. It may serve to announce male fitness, but this is far from certain…

Though this bird’s alarm call does not elicit response from other nearby wrens, it never stops  reminding others about the presence of the predator through its calls..

No matter how they respond, God has kept us as watchmen over His people to warn about the presence of the predator..

Ezekiel 33:4-7 shows us God’s purpose in our lives…

Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head

He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Like all Fairywrens, the Superb Fairywren is an active and restless feeder, particularly on open ground near shelter, but also through the lower foliage. Movement is a series of jaunty hops and bounces, with its balance assisted by a proportionally large tail, which is usually held upright, and rarely still. The short, rounded wings provide good initial lift and are useful for short flights, though not for extended jaunts. During spring and summer, birds are active in bursts through the day and accompany their foraging with song. Insects are numerous and easy to catch, which allows the birds to rest between forays. Food is harder to find during winter and they are required to spend the day foraging continuously…

These birds are restless feeders and they also sing while foraging….

If only we become restless feeders like these birds on the word of God and if only we sing and praise Jesus continuously all through the day, our Lord would encompass us with His presence…

Remember our Lord dwells among our praises…

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

Have a blessed day!

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at: Crosstree


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Splendid Fairy-wren

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian Montgomery


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Splendid Fairy-wren  ~  Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 5/25/10

It has been about 4 years since a Fairy-wren featured as Bird of the Week. It’s not for nothing that the Superb Fairy-wren made the list (No. 78) in David Chandler and Dominic Couzens’s ‘100 Birds to See before You Die’, so let’s rectify that with the Splendid Fairy-wren.

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian Montgomery

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian

All the male Fairy-wrens are stunningly beautiful and some of their names reflect that: Superb, Splendid and Lovely before getting to more prosaic names like Purple-crowned and Variegated. Maybe the bird-namers should have consulted the thesaurus. Mine includes (under splendid): spiffy, ritzy, glorious, lavish, swanky and sublime; ‘imperial’ might fit the Purple-crowned well. Anyway, the Splendid lives up to its name, as you can see in the first photo, even if ‘splendid’ has connotations of grand, perhaps inappropriate for a tiny bird 14cm/5.5in in length, much of which is tail.

It’s not as well known as the Superb, which occurs in all the southeastern Australia capitals from Brisbane to Adelaide via Hobart, but the Splendid rules supreme in Perth. As addition, it has wide range throughout Australia east of the Great Divide with three distinct races in eastern, central and western Australia. The one in the first and second photos is the eastern race melanotus, photographed in southwestern Queensland, identifiable by it cobalt- rather than violet-blue colour, paler cheek patch, narrow breast band and black back – visible in the second photo – with the latter giving this race its other name of Black-backed Fairy-wren. Incidentally, Fairy-wrens are unrelated to Northern Hemisphere wrens and together with the grasswren and emu-wrens comprise the Australo-Papuan family Maluridae.
Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian Montgomery

Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) by Ian

The third photo shows a male of the nominate western race in transition from non-breeding to breeding plumage. Fairy-wrens, like some very colourful ducks such as the Mallard, shed their bright colours in the non-breeding plumage and acquire the ‘eclipse’ plumage. This is similar to that of the female, though eclipse male fairy-wrens are often subtly different from females and young birds. In the case of Splendid Fairy-wrens, the eclipse male is distinguishable from the female by having a dark rather than tan bill, greyish rather than tan eye-ring, dark lores (between the eye and the bill) and blue wings.

Best wishes,

Links: Fairywrens

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au

Lee’s Addition:The Splendid Fairywren is in the Maluridae Family which includes the 29 Australasian Wrens (Fairywren, Emu-wren, and Grasswren). They are in the Passeriformes Order.

Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate. (Psalms 111:2-4 NASB)