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Variegated Fairywren - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Neil
Sydney, Australia
Malurus lamberti


11·5–14·5 cm (4½-5¾ in)
Chestnut shoulders, blue crown and ear-coverts; non-breeding males, females and juveniles have predominantly grey-brown plumage, but in non-breeding males, the bill and lores remain black.
Both sexes have long dull-blue tails.


The color of the back of the breeding plumage male varies from sky blue to purple depending on subspecies.


Photo by fthsm
Sydney, Australia

Australia: found in coastal south-eastern Australia (eastern New South Wales, and south-eastern Queensland north to Gladstone)


Purple-backed Fairywren has been split from this species.

Male transitioning to breeding plumage
Photo by Ken Doy
Minnippi Parklands, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, April 2017

This is a monotypic species[1].


Dense shrubby vegetation, including coastal scrub, rough rocky thicket areas and along creeks.



Their diet consists of insects such as ants, wasps, flies, grasshoppers, beetles etc.


Their nest is a domed oval structure built by the female. It is made from grass, twigs and bark. Fine grass, fur and feathers are used to line the cup. The clutch consists of 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by the female.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Fairywrens and related species
  3. Rowley, I. and E. Russell (2020). Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.varfai5.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.