Superb Fairy-wren question

To: "" <>
Subject: Superb Fairy-wren question
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2019 07:56:22 +0000

Speaking of transition, the below is from JWNR this morning.  I also came across many Weebills in the canopy, Tree Martins over the open spaces, and 4 green bowerbirds in the woodland section.  All these have been mentioned by others on eBird, I notice.


A close up of a bird

Description automatically generated


From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Sent: Friday, 23 August 2019 4:57 PM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Superb Fairy-wren question


Being no expert, I’d defer to Mark.  The only issue is the rufous eye patch  -  so perhaps a bit younger in view of that?   I certainly wouldn’t have an argument about it.


From: Mark Clayton <>
Sent: Friday, 23 August 2019 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Superb Fairy-wren question



Your S F-w is a male in eclipse plumage moulting back into its full breeding plumage something I would expect at this time of year. The black bill is a giveaway as to it being an adult male - females and juveniles have a brownish bill - and the new blue tail feathers show it is moulting back to full plumage. Hard to say exactly how old the bird is, but certainly more than two years I suggest. It also looks like it had just had a "bath"!


On 23/08/2019 3:49 pm, shorty wrote:

I took this shot yesterday at my place. I thought what an odd looking bird but it has been suggested to me that it is a young male attaining it's adult plumage. My questions are, if it is a young male would it also be attaining breeding plumage as this one is doing? Also does anyone know how old this bird would be if it is a young male?




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