White-winged Fairywren – Photo by Scott Humphris
Nature truly outdoes itself sometimes, and the white-winged fairywren is definitely proof of this.
It’s almost impossible to believe a bird could be so vivid, such is the striking vision of the males’ bright electric cobalt-blue body, black bill, and white wings.
Mainly residing in the drier parts of central Australia, from central Queensland and South Australia across to Western Australia, the white-winged fairywren dines on insects, small fruits, and leaf buds.
During the mating season, males have been observed picking petals from flowers and displaying them to females in a romantic gesture. White-winged fairywrens exhibit one of the highest incidences of extra-pair mating, and many broods are brought up by a male who is not the natural father.
White-winged fairywrens live in complex social groups and build domed nests low in shrubs or grass made of plant stems, grasses, and spider webs.
Tiny in stature, measuring 11 to 13.5 centimetres and weighing under 11 grams, what they lack in size they sure make up for in colour.