Local insects and animals – Superb Fairy Wren

Our Superb Fairy wren couple are nesting, we more commonly know them as Blue wrens in our area though. Our particular group consists of two fully coloured males and a group of females and juvenile males that hang around. One of the females has built herself a lovely little nest in the clump of sedges in the yard and laid a few eggs. We hope to be able to take photos of the whole process from hatching to fledging.

Blue wrens eat insects, a lot of insects. They are constantly hunting through the grass and shrubs for flies and bugs, I am sure they keep our insect numbers in check. They also provide a lovely little pop of colour to the day hopping through the grass on the lawn, but I think my favourite thing to watch is when the males bring a female a bunch of ‘flowers’; they will pick a sprout of something that has a red tinge (if possible), they love beetroot sprouts, and take it in their beaks to shyly offer it to a chosen female. If she takes it, she is receptive to his advances, if she doesn’t take it, he will often take the flowers home to his mate (waste not, want not). They are not the most faithful bird in the world, but they are delightful.

Blue wren nests are built by the females and take the form of a grass woven clump lined with soft materials like feathers and wool. The female lays from three to six eggs in her nest after mating with her partner (and any other male that takes her fancy… secretly), then she sits on the clutch until they hatch leaving only to drink and eat briefly.

Once the eggs hatch, both parents feed the babies until they fledge.

Mother wrens will pretend to have a broken wing to try to draw you away from their nest if you approach when the babies are young. We try not to go near the nest at all while the parents are close because it really worries them and causes all sorts of panic, humans are such scary creatures after all.

We will try to get some more photos of babies growing over the coming weeks, if we can catch the nest unattended.

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