Family

CHAPTER

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

These birds range in length from 5.5 to 8.6 inches (14 to 22 centimeters) and weigh from 0.27 to 1.2 ounces (7.6 to 34.1 grams). Grasswrens are colored brown and tan with black and white markings. Only faint shades mark the differences between the sexes in grasswrens. Female undersides tend to be more russet, reddish, in color than male. Breeding male fairy-wrens display colors of bright blues, violets, purples, and russets. Some have cheek patches of bright turquoise—these cheek patches can be blown out to form a face fan during territorial contests or courting displays. Emu-wrens have long tails that are filament-like, or thread-like.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Fairy-wrens can be found throughout Australia and New Guinea. Some species are found only in a limited area, while others are distributed over the entire continent. Emu-wrens and grasswrens only inhabit Australia. Fairy-wrens are found in New Guinea as well as Australia.

HABITAT

The various species of Australian fairy-wrens can be found in different habitats. Grasswrens find homes in grasslands of the dry interior lands of the continent with a very limited geographic distribution. Emu-wrens inhabit many different kinds of environments such as swampland, and the thickets of the southern Australian plains along the coastal belts. Others inhabit the arid, dry, interior. Fairy-wrens also live in many different kinds of habitats, from tropical grasslands to wet forests and woodlands, and the semi-arid interior. Yet other species have adapted to humans and inhabit parks and suburban gardens.

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