To: "'Michael Hunter'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Fairywrens
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 15:43:34 +1000
Hi Michael,

I just asked what I thought is an obvious question, as it seems a strange 
occurrence and interpretation. You have now added some other information "They 
were not otherwise interacting with one another". I have occasionally seen a 
small group of Superb Fairy-wrens involved in a vigorous fight among 
themselves. One event I recall worth mentioning was only about 5 birds. I was 
about 40 metres away and well hidden from them and no other people nearby. So 
you ask "What were you thinking that they might otherwise be doing?" My answer 
would only be that, just from what you first wrote, that they were fighting 
among themselves. I don't know why you would be that important to them. But I 
was not there. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Hunter  
Sent: Wednesday, 25 August, 2021 1:36 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Fairywrens

Hi Philip
The mob approached me when I entered their presumed territory, all facing me, 
followed me as I walked. I counted 50 at least although counting was difficult, 
they were constantly moving within the group, and calling. Always facing me, 
retreated and advanced as I did, absolutely no doubt that I was the focus of 
their ire. They were not otherwise interacting with one another.
 Possible that they had gathered into a confined (~ 2 m) group before I came, 
but why would they do that.
 Have seen many many and all of Aus and some PNG f wrens, never in such numbers 
or grouped together as these were.
  What were you thinking that they might otherwise be doing?
        Best Michael

Sent from my iPhone

> On 25 Aug 2021, at 11:33 am, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> That is curious. Why do you perceive that the focus was on you, rather than 
> each other?
> Philip
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
> Michael Hunter
> Sent: Tuesday, 24 August, 2021 9:36 PM
> To: Geoff Shannon
> Cc: 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Fairywrens
> Interesting Geoff. Sounds very similar.
> Once in the desert near Well 35 I was “attacked” by a group of over fifty 
> Variegated FWrens all in a big 2 m ball like group, about  3m away, two 
> males, the whole group “screaming” at me to go away, backing off only as much 
> as I advanced , but kept calling until I left their territory about 10 - 15 
> min later.  Initially I really thought that they would physically attack me. 
> This would have been in about August/September. No visible nests, open shrub 
> land. No open water within km .The only sighting of wrens during a 2 to 3hr 
> walk.
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On 24 Aug 2021, at 8:40 pm, Geoff Shannon <> wrote:
>> Here in NW Tasmania I have several times come across large groups (mid 
>> teens to about 50)only to find they go back to usual family groups. These 
>> large groups occur in winter but do not appear to be stable big flocks. Not 
>> sure what this means. Not just in outer suberbs but also in country, but not 
>> everywhere. Over ten years on 2 hectares whre there were upto 7 groups never 
>> saw amalgamation of groups. So cannot explain.
>>      Interesting to hear same happening elsewhere.
>>      Thanks for your comments Geoff Shannon . NW ( now northern) Tasmania 
>>>> On 24 Aug 2021, at 13:46, Michael Hunter <> wrote:
>>> Hi all.
>>> Here in Mulgoa Valley we have had an irruption of Superb Fairy Wrens over 
>>> the last few weeks, Almost all “brown birds”, one male in eclipse plumage, 
>>> one in full breeding garb.
>>> I watched two  brown birds in what looked like mortal combat, the victim 
>>> spread eagled
>>> under the attacker who would not let go. Three other bbs flew to the 
>>> rescue, jumped on the attacker then all flew off.
>>> They are very engaging little birds, popping in and out of our pot plant 
>>> collection, coming up to our feet if we sit still enough.
>>> Almost overnight their numbers dropped from maybe thirty around the house 
>>> for over a week to five or six, including an eclipse make and two young 
>>> dark tailed males.  Where did they go?
>>>      Best
>>>         Michael

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