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Maluridae – Fairywrens

Superb Fairywren in Australia: Photo by Zebedee Muller

The Maluridae family, also known as fairywrens, comprises small, vibrant songbirds found in Australia and New Guinea.

Overview of Maluridae

These perky, light-footed jewels inhabit a wide range of habitats in Australia and New Guinea. Their plumage varies widely, from vibrant splashes of blue and red to muted earth tones, yet they share a unified body plan and complex mating systems. Males have reproductive tracts adapted to intense sexual competition and high rates of extra-pair mating. Courtship involves not just vibrant plumage and well-developed gonads, but also unique behaviors, with males often carrying a flower petal or fruit to woo neighboring females.