I certainly sympathise with Bob re ID of female,
juvenile and non-breeding Fairy Wrens
Here in the Isa I frequently see Variegated and
Red-backed feeding together as a combined clan.
On 2 occasions a group of White-winged F-w
were only a few metres away from these combined clans.
(In this area the Red-backed and White-winged have
a 20km territory overlap)
One day I was really surprised when I
determined that a group of Variegated F-w included a
single Red-backed F-w which was separated by 50m from the rest of its
ID of Variegated F-w are easy because of their
lores but Red-backed & Variegated F-w needs experience.
The colour variations are very subtle and I would
be doubtful if any Field Guide could accurately reproduce them
Sonia Tidemann wrote a paper pertaining
to Superb, Variegated and White-winged F-w
Tidemann, Sonia C. (1990).
territory establishment, size, and use by three co-existing species of
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
An associated question is whether any
two of the above species actually associate very closely in the field - that
is, moving closely together in the same group at the same time.
This would explain some "inconsistencies" I
have seen. I have seen two species in groups just a few metres, say 10 -
Bob Cook, Mildura, NW