From: "Andrew Taylor" <>
To: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Cc: "Birding-aus" <>
Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2006 9:50 PM
Subject: New birds in Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane
I was interested in Andrew's comment about studies at the Canberra Botanic
Gardens indicating all male Superb Fairy-wrens going into eclipse plumage
My experience is that in the Sydney region, and particulary Sydney's
Northern Beaches where I live, is that one male in each group remains in
breeding plumage throught the year, I assumed this was the dominant male. I
have certainly seen males in breeding plumage in all months.
I think the same applies with Variagated Fairy-wrens in Sydney although I
have less evidence here. Certainly I have seen (and commented on to others)
male Variagated Wrens seen in June/July in breeding plumage. On the other
hand I have never seen male Splendid Wrens in breeding plumage on winter
visits to the mallee.
Could this be a temperature thing, males going into eclipse plumage in
colder climes or where the winters are longer? I can't think of a good
reason why but there must be some explanation.
> On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 01:03:11PM +1000, Chris Sanderson wrote:
> > Speaking of fairy-wrens in breeding plumage, does anyone else have
> > fairy-wrens that don't lose their breeding plumage over winter?
> You might be looking at birds that are already in breding plumage.
> I believe, the long-running studies of the Superb Fairy Wrens at the
> Canberra Botanic Gardens found all?/almost-all? males (there) go into
> eclipse plumage late summer but when they moult into breeding plumage
> ranges from March to November - generally old males moult earlier.
> I think they found females use early-moult as indication of male quality.