Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Notes on breeding and social behaviour of the White-winged Fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus

SC Tideman

Emu 80(3) 157 - 161
Published: 1980


A population of Malurus leucopterus was studied eighteen kilometres north-west of Booligal, NSW. An area of fifty hectares was surveyed. Birds were mist-netted and colour banded. The calls and main song of M. leucopterus are described. Three groups each of four to eleven birds occupied territories of 1.3 to 8.3 hectares during the breeding season but ranged over larger areas at other times. The female was the main feeder of nestlings and fledgelings and was assisted by one or more uncoloured birds and usually by a coloured male. Nestlings fledged after ten days. Probable predators were feral cats Felis catus, Pied Butcherbirds Cracticus nigrogularis, Brown Snakes Pseudonaja textilis and Lace Monitors Varanus varius. Some examples of behaviour are described: Hopping replacement, Aerial Clash, Wing Flutter, distraction display, preening and roosting.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1980

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