Red-backed fairywren - Shimla Now

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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Red-backed fairywren

The red-backed fairywren (Malurus melanocephalus) is a species in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. It is endemic to Australia and can be found near rivers and coastal areas along the northern and eastern coastlines from the Kimberley in the northwest to the Hunter Region in New South Wales. Most males adopt a striking breeding plumage, with brown wings, a brightly coloured red back, and a black head, upperparts and tail. Females, juveniles, and some males have brownish upperparts and paler underparts. The species mainly eats insects, and supplements its diet with seed and small fruits. The preferred habitat is heathland and savannah, particularly where low shrubs and tall grasses provide cover. A group consists of a socially monogamous pair with one or more grown offspring who assist in raising the young. The red-backed fairywren is sexually promiscuous, and each partner may mate with other individuals. As part of a courtship display, the male wren plucks red petals from flowers and displays them to females.

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