male

red-backed fairy-wren

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The Red-backed Fairy-wrens are tiny birds around 12 cm top to tail. They are the smallest of the Fairy-wrens and are found in tropical and sub-tropical woodland with grass understory. The black one with a red back is the male while the female is the plainer brown.  P1090241

More often than not in the same location (Moonee Beach Nature Reserve on the north coast of NSW) we see the lovely blue (male) Superb Fairy-wren or perhapes the Variegated Fairy-wrens at play. 

regent bowerbird

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I was delighted to spot this male Regent Bowerbird feeding on the wild tobacco tree. The females are a tan/cream but the males the vibrant gold and black. It is 24-28 cm and though often silent is may make a low chattering or soft warbling sound.

male superb fairy-wren

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The male Superb Fairy-wrens (what a great name!) are handsome little birds with their jet black coats and bright blue collars, unlike their female counterparts who have  soft brown feathers that you can see here. Captured at this angle he looks like he is wearing Darth Vada’s helmet giving him quite a ferocious ‘don’t mess with me’ look. You can see how tiny he is in comparison against the banksia pod and if your not familiar with the banksia he is a mere 14 cm top to tail. They like to hang out in patchy undergrowth for cover and feed in nearby open spaces and have a full-throated gushing song with downward inflection.

Acknowledgment: Slaters Field Guide to Australian Birds.