Honestly, blue wrens could take over my life if I didn’t keep strict control. I should really give them their full title; Superb Fairy Wrens (Maluras cyaneus). And yes, they are as delicate as fairies.
Once I had a blue wren stained glass window made for the stairwell of a property my partner and I owned. I so hated to leave it when the place was sold.
These delightful birds are never still, and I have terrible trouble photographing them. Most of my shots are taken through the window when I’m alerted by their sweet chirping, The sound always reminds me of little girls giggling together.
The group below are in lonicera hedging. They love this plant, because they can hop in and out easily if danger threatens.
One morning I watched as the bath outside my bedroom was being used for a coaching session in the art of swimming. Admittedly I have a vivid imagination, but I swear Coach Blue was calling, ‘On your mark…’
And off the tiny Olympic aspirant went… performing breaststroke by the look of it, or perhaps the Australian Crawl.
OK, now let’s try backstroke. Admittedly a slightly more difficult stroke.
I don’t think Miss Wren is even going to make the national trials, unless she improves a lot.
The males in their blue breeding finery are very aware of how smart they look.
When they are not bathing (or swimming) the birds spend a lot of time foraging for insects in the dense, messy parts of the garden. Here is one on an old tree fern frond;
Blue Wrens have an ‘interesting’ love life. Neither males or females worry too much about remaining faithful, especially the females. I guess you could call them polyamorous. The female builds her nest in dense foliage, usually quite close to the ground;
Now here’s an interesting thing. Dr Naomi Langmore from the Australian National University, has been researching blue wrens in relation to global warming. A ten year study has shown that the birds are able to lay larger eggs, containing more nutrients, in periods of abnormally hot weather. The chicks are then stronger when they hatch and able to cope with any drop in insect numbers due to the heat. There’s only one hitch….bigger eggs require more food for the parent bird, so it needs the help of a juvenile male ‘helper’ from an earlier brood.
Because these sweet creatures like to feed on the ground and in low shrubbery they present an easy target for cats. This is why they are declining in numbers. Fortunately, here in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales they are still common.
UPDATE – During the pandemic my nephew Rick Allen has been in lock-down in the Philippines. He has taken up drawing to help cope with the isolation, and produced this sweet image of a wren perched in my correa tree.
UPDATE JUNE 18- THE DEATH OF DAME VERA LYNN IS A REMINDER JUST HOW MUCH WE NEED ‘BLUEBIRDS’ RIGHT NOW. LISTEN TO HER SONG OF PEACE AND HOPE.