Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

The Breeding Biology of the White-winged Fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus leuconotus in a Western Australian Coastal Heathland

I Rowley and E Russell

Emu 95(3) 175 - 184
Published: 1995


A population of the White-winged Fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus leuconotus was studied at Pipidinny in coastal heathland on the northern edge of Perth (31°35′S, 115°41′E) over four breeding seasons (1987-90). From 49 nesting attempts we banded 101 nestlings; in total 187 birds were individually colour-banded. Our data agree with other studies that show males do not acquire their full brilliant blue plumage with white wings until they are three years old. At many nesting attempts, the female was partnered by a brown plumaged male; fully blue males were rare. Eggs were laid from August to December; mean clutch size was 3.5, incubation lasted 14-15 days and nestlings fledged at 10-11 days. Predation was rare and breeding success high (81%). Data on social organisation is presented and the need for analysis of parentage stressed.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1995

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