Purplecrowned fairywren

Malurus coronatus

TAXONOMY

Malurus coronatus Gould, 1858, Victoria River, Northern Territory, Australia. Two subspecies..

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Lilac-crowned wren; French: Mérion couronné German: Purpurkopf-Staffelschwanz; Spanish: Ratona Australiana de Corona Morada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.9 in (15 cm); female 0.31-0.44 oz (8.7-12.6 g), male 0.32-0.46 oz (9.2-13 g). Male in breeding plumage distinctive with purple crown bordered in black; female mostly buffy with chestnut face patch; nonbreeding males resemble females but have a dark face patch.

DISTRIBUTION

Restricted tropical range. M. c. coronatus found in northeastern Australia; M. c. macgillivrayi found in northwestern Australia.

HABITAT

Always close to rivers, streams, or permanent pools in thick vegetation, particularly pandanus leaves and litter.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial and monogamous; pairs advertise territory and reinforce pair-bond with dueting. Voice a high-pitched sequence of notes, as well as alarm and contact calls.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Glean mainly insects from dense vegetation along rivers or pond margins, and forage in leaf litter for worms and other invertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous and probably promiscuous. Maintain territory throughout year. Nest is domed and bulky. Clutch is two or three spotted, white eggs. Female incubates for about 14 days; fledging in about 10 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened but adversely affected by frequent fires and habitat loss.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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