Wallaces wren

Sipodotus wallacii

TAXONOMY

Sipodotus wallacii G. R. Gray, 1862, Misool Island. Two subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Wallace's fairy-wren; French: Mérion de Wallace; German: Rostnacken-Staffelschwanz; Spanish: Ratona Australiana de Wallace.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Female 0.23-0.28 oz (6.5-8 g), male 0.25-0.30 oz (7.0-8.5 g). Sexes similar in plumage. Long-billed, short-tailed fairy-wren, white below with white-streaked black cap and russet back.

DISTRIBUTION

Resident, lowland rainforests of New Guinea, sometimes to more than 3,280 ft (1,000 m) elevation. S. w. wallacii in north, W. s. coronatus in center and south.

HABITAT

Uses trees more than undergrowth in rainforest; in canopy to 130 ft (40 m); frequents tangles of vines and climbing bamboo at forest edge.

BEHAVIOR

Strong, undulating flight between trees. Found in family groups and in mixed species foraging flocks. Social organization poorly known. Does not cock its tail. Song is a series of high-pitched twittering notes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages for insects by gleaning, probing, and hang-gleaning, mostly in foliage. Also hawks flying insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Domed nest suspended from vines 16.5-33 ft (5-10 m) from the ground. May have helpers, but little is known of reproductive biology.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened but deforestation a potential threat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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