Species: Malurus melanocephalus
Common names: Red-backed Fairy-wren
Our bushcare group has always taken great care to preserve a habitat that is conducive to supporting our existing wildlife while gradually eliminating all the weeds. I was really reassured as to the effectiveness of our strategy when I spied a small family of red-backed fairy wrens towards the middle of the reserve and at least 100 metres from the edge of the forest. This is one species that I thought might disappear when we eliminated all the lantana. These wrens though, like the variegated fairy wrens, seem to love the cover provided by large patches of Hypolepis muelleri (Harsh Ground Fern) and the tangle of Maclura cochinchinensis (Cockspur Thorn).
I’ve recently seen families of Variegated Fairy-wrens, Red-backed Fairy-wrens and Superb Fairy-wrens in the reserve. They tend to be most common around the edges of the reserve, particularly in the lantana, but I have seen them in the middle of the reserve. On Monday, when I inspected the area we cleared the day before, at our last working bee, I found that a family of red- backed fairy-wrens was doing the same thing. The photo below is of a female red-backed fairy-wren.