Overview

Comprehensive Description

The largest fairy- wren. Male nominate race (all seasons) has crown light metallic royal blue, forehead, lores and side of head to narrow collar black (no contrastingly coloured ear- tufts); upper black, scapulars and uppertail- coverts deep turquoise- blue, lower back blue- black; upperwing and tail blackish with blue tinges, throat and underparts deep navy- blue; iris dark brown; bill black; legs dark grey- brown. Female has head much as male, upperparts chestnut, tail black with broad white tips, throat deep blue, underparts white; eyes and bill as male, legs mid- brown. Immature is basically like female, but with head dusky black, upperparts rusty- brown, entire undersurface white; young male passes through a female- like plumage before attaining full adult plumage. Races differ only in depth of coloration; mysorensis is like nominate but has crown light cobalt- blue, female with darker blue crown; bonapartii is somewhat darker than others.

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Emperor Fairy-wren


Other common names: Blue Wren-warbler, Imperial Wren, Blue/Imperial Fairy-wren, New Guinea Blue-wren/Wren


Taxonomy: Todus cyanocephalus Quoy and Gaimard, 1830, Manokwari, Vogelkop, north-west New Guinea.


The largest fairy- wren - 13-16 cm. Male nominate race (all seasons) has crown light metallic royal blue,  forehead, lores and side of head to narrow collar black, upperwing and tail blackish with blue tinges, throat and underparts deep navy- blue; iris dark brown; bill black; legs dark grey- brown. Female has head much as male, upperparts chestnut, tail black with broad white tips, throat deep blue, underparts white

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Distribution

Subspecies and Distribution:



  • cyanocephalus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) - Vogelkop E to Geelvink Bay and N lowland New Guinea (E to mouth of R Ramu).


  • mysorensis (A. B. Meyer, 1874) - Biak I, in Geelvink Bay.


  • bonapartii (G. R. Gray, 1859) - Aru Is, and S lowland New Guinea from Geelvink Bay E to E of Port Moresby.

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Subspecies and Distribution:


    * cyanocephalus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) - Vogelkop E to Geelvink Bay and N lowland New Guinea (E to mouth of R Ramu). * mysorensis (A. B. Meyer, 1874) - Biak I, in Geelvink Bay. * bonapartii (G. R. Gray, 1859) - Aru Is, and S lowland New Guinea from Geelvink Bay E to E of Port Moresby.


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Physical Description

Size

13- 16 cm; 12- 17 g

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13- 16 cm; 12- 17 g

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Diagnostic Description

The largest fairy- wren. Male nominate race (all seasons) has crown light metallic royal blue, forehead, lores and side of head to narrow collar black (no contrastingly coloured ear- tufts); upper black, scapulars and uppertail- coverts deep turquoise- blue, lower back blue- black; upperwing and tail blackish with blue tinges, throat and underparts deep navy- blue; iris dark brown; bill black; legs dark grey- brown. Female has head much as male, upperparts chestnut, tail black with broad white tips, throat deep blue, underparts white; eyes and bill as male, legs mid- brown. Immature is basically like female, but with head dusky black, upperparts rusty- brown, entire undersurface white; young male passes through a female- like plumage before attaining full adult plumage.  Races differ only in dapth of coloration; mysorensis is like nominate but has crown light cobalt- blue, female with darker blue crown; bonapartii is somewhat darker than others.

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The largest fairy- wren. Male nominate race (all seasons) has crown light metallic royal blue, forehead, lores and side of head to narrow collar black (no contrastingly coloured ear- tufts); upper black, scapulars and uppertail- coverts deep turquoise- blue, lower back blue- black; upperwing and tail blackish with blue tinges, throat and under parts deep navy- blue; iris dark brown; bill black; legs dark grey- brown. Female has head much as male, upperparts chestnut, tail black with broad white tips, throat deep blue, under parts white; eyes and bill as male, legs mid- brown. Immature is basically like female, but with head dusky black, upperparts rusty- brown, entire under surface white; young male passes through a female- like plumage before attaining full adult plumage. Races differ only in depth of coloration; mysorensis is like nominate but has crown light cobalt- blue, female with darker blue crown; bonapartii is somewhat darker than others.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Dense secondary growth at edges of forest, also forest openings, riversides, roadsides and overgrown gardens.

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Dense secondary growth at edges of forest, also forest openings, riversides, roadsides and overgrown gardens.

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Trophic Strategy

Arthropods; eats beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), moths (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and spiders (Araneae). Items gleaned from leaves, palm fronds and branches, generally within 1 m of ground.  Forages noisily in family parties; not known to join mixed species flocks.

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Arthropods; eats beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), moths (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and spiders (Araneae). Items gleaned from leaves, palm fronds and branches, generally within 1 m of ground. Forages noisily in family parties; not known to join mixed. Species flocks.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

VOICE: Song a reel preceded and followed by sets of 3 notes, frequently given by group while foraging. Contact call “tst- tst- tst- tst”; “tschik” as alarm.

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Reproduction

Little known. Juveniles recorded Mar- Dec, suggesting breeding in all months of year. Socially monogamous but probably sexually promiscuous (as congeners); remains paired throughout year. Co- operative breeder, frequently with helpers, usually progeny from previous years; generally in pairs or small groups, e. g. four males and one female attending recently fledged young. Only one nest found, gourd- shaped with side entrance, made from strips of fern and leaves woven together with pieces of moss, placed 1 m from ground in a bush contained 4 young.

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Little known. Juveniles recorded Mar- Dec, suggesting breeding in all months of year. Socially monogamous but probably sexually promiscuous (as congeners); remains paired throughout year. Co- operative breeder, frequently with helpers, usually progeny from previous years; generally in pairs or small groups, e. g. four males and one female attending recently fledged young. Only one nest found, gourd- shaped with side entrance, made from strips of fern and leaves woven together with pieces of moss, placed 1 m from ground in a bush contained 4 young. No other information.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Not Threatened

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Not Threatened

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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be fairly common but locally patchy (Higgins et al 2001, Coates 1990).

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Emperor Fairywren

The Emperor Fairywren (Malurus cyanocephalus) is a species of bird in the Maluridae family. It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

References[edit]


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