Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

When Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens want to jump into your lens!

I've always found Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens to be secretive little birds, who like to play hide and seek in the pandanas and make life for a bird-watcher totally frustrating.

That was until this weekend.

I pulled the car up along the roadside near where I had seen the birds 4 years ago and again earlier in the week. To make sure I had the call figured, while I was grabbing the chair, camera water etc. I played the call twice on my iPad. It was in the car. I walked the 15 or so metres to the riverbank and heard a quiet little "zzzittt" "zzzittt" and looked up to one of the nearby pandanas and there was a female Purple-crowned Fairy-wren. I hadn't even put the chair down! I watched, listened and was a little dismayed to hear and see nothing else. I set up the chair and commenced what I hoped to be a short wait for the wren family to re-appear.

45 minutes later, I heard not one or two, but three birds heading along the water side of the pandanas. Now I don't use playback to call birds in, and even though I understand why some people do, I prefer not to confuse the birds. However, I did wonder whether my short playback in the car may have sent Mrs Wren off to get the family and introduce themselves to these "others".

I sat quietly, waiting for them to get closer, I was particularly keen to get photos of the male. It was nearly an hour after the first sighting that I took the photos below. As the blogpost title suggests, I really felt as though they wanted to jump down the lens at me. Absolutely astonishing considering my previous efforts.

After having such a close and noisy encounter (they really did call quite a lot, I'm not sure the "alarm call" in Pizzey and Knight app is totally accurate as they were really just calling to each other, and not really alarmed as they kept hanging around, almost like Superb Fairy-wrens do in Victoria.), I then found the PCFWs almost everywhere I went at Victoria River Roadhouse, not quite as close, but easily recognisable by the call, and occasionally coming out for a photo, albeit more distant.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Purple-crowned Fairy-wren


  1. Awesome photos, they are incredible little birds! In my experiences, they haven't been so much shy, as skulky, they don't mind company, but they do mind hanging out in the open!

    1. Hi Ollie, yes shy was probably the wrong phrase. I also found them to be annoying little buggers as they jumped up into a small sparsely leaved shrub to get a bug but then drop down into the grasses again.

  2. Thanks Richard, I did enjoy the photos. Adorable is the word that comes to mind.

    1. Cheers John, they certainly are pretty little birds