Variegated Fairy-wren

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Variegated Fairy-wren, Malurus lamberti, is a very small and common bird, sized at 11 to 14.5cm. The male has bright blue head, paler around the ear patch. Black throat and breast, with white underbelly. Chestnut shoulder on brown wing. Blue tail with fine white tip. Female has a plain grey/brown back with off white throat and underbelly. Thin chestnut eye ring with strip to similar coloured bill. Call is a high pitched squeaky chatter.

Feeding Habits

Usually found in pairs or small family groups, feeding on:

  • Insects
  • Grubs
  • Grasshoppers
  • Termites


July-February, also other months after good rain. Nest is a coarse, dense grass dome with side entrance, lined with feathers and down, generally within one metre of the ground, in grass or small dense shrubs. Three-to-four eggs are laid then incubated by the female.

Places to Look

  • Inland woodlands where there are patches of dense cover with shrubs
  • Long grass
  • Parks
  • Gardens


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Variegated Fairy-wren © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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