Information Please

To: Andrew Cockburn <>
Subject: Information Please
From: David Rees <>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 03:58:55 +0000

about 1:00 into my video you have a male doing just this.  also recently loaded more video of one of one of my favourates the white-winged fairy wren - see

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 11:45 AM, Andrew Cockburn <> wrote:
Hi Julie

The bird (most particularly in the 553 image) is in what Ian Rowley called the ‘blue-back’ display, where the pale blue feathers are erected as reflective shields, and the black plumage is positioned  as a frame for the pale blue feathers, completely obscuring the brown wings and white belly from some angles (hence ‘blue-black ‘).  This display is now known to be used exclusively on foreign territories in order to attract extra-group matings later in the breeding season. It is sometimes accompanied by carrying a yellow petal and flower.

Cheers, Andrew Cockburn

From: Mark Clayton <>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 11:26:49 +1000
To: 'Julie Clark' <>, 'COG Chatline' <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Information Please

Hi July,


I don’t think there is anything unusual about this bird, it is obviously the dominant male in the group and appears to be in a display posture, spreading his feathers to show himself off as a good potential mate. If he wasn’t displaying his feathers would not be anywhere as “exposed”.


Your question isn’t silly as many people would not have watched a Superb Fairy-wren display like this.





From: Julie Clark
Sent: Thursday, 3 September 2015 11:11 AM
To: COG Chatline
Subject: [canberrabirds] Information Please


Hi All,


I saw this superb fairy-wren on the weekend and was surprised at the amount of black plumage on him. I've never seen one this dark before.


Is that because I'm not very observant or is he darker than most? Is this full breeding plumage and I've just never noticed them at this time of year??


Many thanks for any information.


My apologies to those who may regard my questions as silly... I've looked at quite a few photos taken by others and didn't really find a bird that looked as dark as this.






Julie Clark


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU