Journal article

Ecology and breeding biology of a tropical bird, the Lovely Fairy-Wren (Malurus amabilis)

Ana V Leitao, Michelle L Hall, Brian Venables, Raoul A Mulder



The Lovely Fairy-Wren (Malurus amabilis) is endemic to the wet tropics of Australia and is one of 11 species in the genus Malurus. Despite the large number of studies on fairy-wrens, little is known about the Lovely Fairy-Wren. This study provides the first detailed description of its ecology, behaviour, and breeding biology. Lovely Fairy-Wrens displayed breeding behaviour characteristic of tropical birds, with groups maintaining territories and breeding year-round, small clutch size (two to three eggs), long juvenile dependence (2 months) and high adult breeder survival (86%). They breed cooperatively, and groups formed when male (but not female) offspring delayed dispersal and remained in ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Australia & Pacific Science Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council [DP150101652]; Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award, BirdLife Australia [2015]; the Australia & Pacific Science Foundation [APSF1406]; the University of Melbourne; kind donation from the Bolton family in memory of Dick Bolton's love for birds.