Backyard Buddies
Splendid Fairy-wren

Photo: Butupa

Splendid Fairy-wren

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Splendid Fairy-wrens live in communal blended families. This matriarchy is run by one single female, the mother. Dad is the only breeding male, and the rest of the flock can contain up to six helpers, including adult sons born in previous seasons.

These social wrens usually live in the same area all year long. Raising the chicks together is a way for these little neighbours to bond.

This joyful experience lasts for about a month. Splendid Fairy-wren mums incubate their eggs for around two weeks. The chicks are then fed by the group for just 13 days.

The Splendid Fairy-wren's bold blue feathers aren't an accident.

Males wear this dark blue costume when they’re looking for love, as it helps them attract a female.

While Splendid Fairy-wrens stand out brilliantly from the regular browns and blacks of many backyard birds, they’re quite shy and tricky to spot. As they venture out of their homes for food, they move very quickly.

You can spot them zipping out of the canopy like little rockets. When foraging on the ground, they quickly hop in large bounds.

You can often spot members of these flocks roosting on a tree branch and nestled up together. They also preen each other.

You can look after Splendid Fairy-wrens at your place

Splendid Fairy-wren flocks love low-growing shrubs. This is a home to build their nests in, and a hunting ground teeming with lots of tasty insects.

You can lend a hand to Splendid Fairy-wrens by planting lots of strappy or spiny ground covers. This provides them with shelter from predators such as cats and bigger birds. As Splendid Fairy-wrens usually live in the same territory all year long, they will thank you for the renovations that keep their homes private and safe.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies – to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Splendid Fairy-wren is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like Splendid Fairy-wrens, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Splendid Fairy-wrens do and do not like.

Splendid Fairy-wrens love:

Insects – including ants, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and bugs.

Safe nesting sites – kept well hidden by tightly packed local native shrubs.

Their sons – who stay with the flock after they’ve become adults, and help raise their younger brothers and sisters.

But they don't like:

Pesticides – which contaminate the insects they eat.

Open spaces – which leave them exposed and vulnerable to predators.

Fast cars – which can injure and harm them if they collide with one.

Cats and dogs – who may attack them or their chicks.

Be a Splendid Fairy-wren buddy

Try to:

Avoid:

Don't be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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