I would like to introduce myself; I am a Superb Fairy Wren, emphasis on the ‘Superb’! I think that name truly sums us Fairy wrens up to a tee, it means, excellent, dazzling, wonderful, superior, supreme, fine, exquisite, but wait there is more! You will see what I mean, and when you get to know us more. Yes, we are characters! We may be tiny but what we miss out on in size, we make up for in character.
My family and friends and I live on a small waterfront reserve, part of the original coastal bush. Our parents and grandparents and our ancestors have lived here for many years.
Humans have impacted our home little by little, building their nests, and big strange nests they are! I really don’t understand why they need such big nests and why they just don’t get some bits of grasses and sticks like we do, a bit of spit and there they would have a beautiful nest. Go figure! They tend to have nice bushes and trees though, around their nests, they call them gardens.
There are some precautions that we birds have to keep in mind, if we decide to visit their gardens, and these are that some of them spray chemicals which makes us very sick. Some of the family and friends have died and have gone to the big bush called Heaven. The other danger is called, I will whisper it to you, as this word can give some of the birds in our community anxiety. The word is ‘cat’, oh dear, hope no one heard that!
Anyway, I’m not complaining, I am happy where I live and I sing my praises every morning by singing my best songs, with my friends and family.
We have lots of bush buddies that we share our place with, there are the bellbirds up in the high treetops, true to their names they sound like bells. Then we have the lorikeets, they screech a little too much for my liking, but all to their own. The kookaburras they think they rule, carrying on as they do, but they do sound good. The little finches peep, and, the magpies warble a most beautiful tune, then the whip birds come in with their contrasting whipping tune. And then there is us, yes, the Fairy Wrens, whose tweet is sweet! When we all get together and let it rip, wow, we sound like a bush orchestra, especially when its springtime, then we sing to our sweet hearts.
Yep, my girlfriend, I have to tell you about her, woo hoo, she is so pretty, well, I’m prettier really, because that’s the way God made me! I develop my cobalt blue colouring over the first four breeding seasons of my life, till I am in my prime and ‘Lookin good’. Yeah baby! Look at me! Look at me!
As I was saying, got a bit carried away about myself, oh yes, about my girl, she is a pretty shade of greyish soft light brown, with a slight tan mask around her eyes. Fluffy soft feathers, a round little shapely belly, orangey tan beak and little stick legs and the best and sexiest sticky-up tail I have ever seen. Is it getting hot around here? Oh Yeah! She drives me wild, when she hops around in the grass and flits from scrub to scrub, she is fast flyer.
There is one thing that upsets me though; my girl, she often likes to play ‘chicken’ on ‘The Pathway’. Now ‘The Pathway’ was never there in my grandparents’ day, it was put there by the humans so they could walk, ride their bikes and take their dogs for a walk through our place without getting their feet muddy or trip over snakes and stuff. But, my girl likes to go on ‘The Pathway’ because of the insects, there are lots of them, and it is nice and warm too. Like I said, she plays ‘chicken,’ with the humans. The idea is to get as many insects as you can, then fly fast or run back into the bushes at the last minute, when the humans come along, it is especially exciting if they ride their bikes. It makes me so nervous, I have to protect her, you know, so I have to hang out with her on ‘The Pathway’ and pretend I am brave.
One day we were there together on ‘The Pathway’, and not just one bike but six bikes came with those little humans, called kids, and dogs! My girl was so interested with the insect she was tracking, that she didn’t notice the encroaching danger. The dogs came bounding along, leading the way, and I yelled out “Bikes, Bikes!” I screamed it out at the top of my lungs but she didn’t hear me. I hopped closer to her and towards the middle of the track, with the bikes and dogs getting ever closer, and yelled again, “Bikes, bikes! She heard me, and instinctively flew into the thick lantana bush, but I was left standing in the middle of ‘The Pathway’. I looked up, the dogs were bounding closer, I could smell their breath, and they were sniffing the air as they ran. The human’s bikes were whirring, the kids shouting “Look at the birdies!”
“Oh no! They have seen us, and they should put those dogs on a lead!” I shouted out, as I made a run for it to the grass, as you can see in my photo. See me run. What an athlete, what a run!
My girl, she was sufficiently shocked and apologised and promised not to go on ‘The Pathway’ again. That only lasted a little while though, I don’t know what it is about the drawing power of ‘The Pathway’, I really don’t know. The good thing is she promised not to play ‘chicken’. I mean, I said to her, “Why would a beautiful ‘Superb’ Fairy Wren like you, want to be a chicken?”
Good news, now it is spring, check me out again I have all my smooth manly colours of cobalt blue, dark blue and black, lookin’ good! My girl can’t resist my charm and gentlemanly ways, we are together forever. And the other good news is, Ta ta… we have some babies on the way and the nest is looking good. You can just make it out in the grass; if you look very carefully you can see that it is round with a little round door. Here are some pictures of my girl collecting the building materials.
You know where about it is though? It is near ‘The Pathway’. “Why, oh why did you make it so close to the path?” I asked, and you know what she said?
“What are you worried about?” I love it when she shows her womanly strength, it’s so attractive! “I know it is close, but it is so well camouflaged in the grass. And, you know we are always protected by God.”
What could I say to that? She is always right.
Oh my! Got to go now, it’s another … “bike!”
I would like to thank Margaret Ann Loveday for the photograph of the ‘little girl hiding in the lantana’ and encouraging me to write and share my photos of these gorgeous little birds.