Thursday, February 25, 2010

Walka Waterworks


Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus

Many of the birds in the Hunter Region are in moult at the moment. It is great to watch the visiting waders adopt their breeding plumage before heading back to Siberia – always hoping that one in full colour will pose for a photograph before heading off.

And the local birds are moulting into their basic (or eclipse) plumage at the end of their breeding season. Females, immatures, and non-breeding male Superb Fairywrens are a plain fawn colour with a lighter underbelly. Females and immatures have a fawn tail, while males have a dull greyish blue tail. The bill is brown in females and juveniles and black in males after their first winter. The male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat.

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