Adult male © Ian Davies eBird S40720634 Macaulay Library ML 76937841
Female © Mat Gilfedder
Immature male © Terence Alexander
Adult male © Luke Seitz
Nonbreeding male © Ken Crawley

Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus

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A small bird with a long tail that is held cocked. Its tail is usually blue (except in juveniles, which have brown tails). Breeding males have a pale blue crown, cheek, and back with a strong black line from the bill through the eyes and around the back of the head. Nonbreeding males are fairly plain grayish-brown birds with black bills and bright blue tails. Females have a duller blue tail and a reddish bill. Note that the patch between the eye and bill (lores) on females is a reddish color of about the same tone as the bill (in Variegated and Purple-backed Fairywrens the lores are much darker than the bill). Female Superb Fairywrens have a much cooler and grayer plumage than the warm tones of Red-backed Fairywren. This species is abundant in parks, gardens, and open woodlands around much of southeastern Australia.