S is for superb fairy wrens – true-blue root-rats of the bird world #MelaleucaMiscellany

I often see these pretty little birds in my garden. I saw what I assume was a pair this morning and reading up on them came across this piece which certainly adds a whole new dimension to their character for me. 🙂

tasbiophilia

1495129_935664026474307_4072550223577659061_o “Helloooo laydeez!” Good looking wren supplied by Mick Brown.

Fairy wrens, eh?  Are they naughty or what?

Famously described by Sir David Attenborough as “the most promiscuous bird known”, much research has been done into the convoluted and apparently quite permissive sex-lives of these rather adorable tiny blue birds and their little brown lady friends.  Both sexes of superb fairy wrens (Malurus cyaneus) are socially monogamous (staying in the same partnerships), but sexually promiscuous (self-explanatory).

Whilst I could tell many entertaining anecdotes about the louche behaviour of fairy wrens, my favourite one, which I learnt about in a short piece by Mary Kille in edition 55 of Yellowthroat (newsletter of Birds Tasmania), regards the peculiar practice of furgling.

Furgling (anecdotally, a word which is a portmanteau of burgling and something else risqué that starts with ‘F’), is a practice known from several species of wrens, which involves…

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