A small bird with a long blue tail that is held cocked. Breeding males are almost entirely blue with a strong black line from the bill through the eyes and around the back of the head, a black chest band, and a black rump. Nonbreeding males are fairly plain grayish-brown birds with black bills, bright blue tails, and some blue in the folded wing. Females are tan above with a duller blue tail and a reddish bill. Note that the patch between the eye and bill (lores) on females is a fraction paler than the bill (in Purple-backed Fairywren the lores are much darker than the bill). This species is fairly common in arid inland Australia, as well as in southwest Western Australia.
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