Fairy Wren short tail

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robynalcockroddis_1
Fairy Wren short tail

Hello sorry if this is a dumb question.  I saw a Superb Fairy Wren at the beach yesterday It was smaller than usual overall it had full breeding plumage but had an abnormally short tail(probably 1/2 what I'd expect).  Can anyone tell me if that's normal for the young, as not what I'd expect.

Thanks Robyn

Woko
Woko's picture

Not something I’d expect, Robyn. Perhaps it was an escapee from the maws of a moggie. Also, I would think it unusual to see a Fairy-wren at the beach unless there is habitat right to the beach edge. 

Devster
Devster's picture

The young do tend to grow into their tails.

robynalcockroddis_1

Yes I did wonder if something had chopped the tail as they are so distinctive.  There is quite a lot of shrubbery protecting the dunes (great for them to hide in) also some native planting in the carpark which may attract the insects they need.  I saw a different wren here  last week haven't seen them before but we have only lived here 18 months and I mostly go to the beach in warmer weather, so that may affect sightings.  Still it brought joy to my day.

Woko
Woko's picture

That's interesting. The breeding plumage would suggest it's not a juvenile so the moggie's maws escape hypothesis might still hold.

Can you say in what part of Australia you're living so that a more precise identification of this species might be made?

I can't recall having seen a Fairy-wren near the beach but I guess if the habitat is suitable it's a possibility. Fairy-wrens, at least the Superb Fairy-wren with which I'm most familiar, like to forage in open spaces but close to shrubs where they can seek protection if necessary. Perhaps the car park with nearby native plantings plus the dune vegetation provides relatively high quality habitat.

I'm also interested & can identify with your delight at having seen this bird. To be in, even contribute to, natural habitat that attracts our wonderful native birds is, I believe, one of life's most fulfilling excitements, especially when we consider the damage to natural habitats which is so widespread.

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