Species Index

Malurus melanocephalus
(Latham, 1801)

Common Name: Red-backed Fairy-wren

Distribution: Distributed across the north of Australia including the far north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland south to coastal regions of New South Wales south to Port Macquarie.

Ecological Notes: Occupies varied habitat including tropical, coastal heath to semi-arid inland with low, dense understory. Also found in thick grasslands with scattered trees, rainforest fringe, swampy woodlands, spinifex, parks and gardens.

Additional Notes: Males overall glossy black with orange-red back and rump. Females pale fawn with blackish tail. Similar female Superb Fairy-wren has bluish tail. Forages for insects in early morning and afternoon on or near the ground. Shy, retreating to cover quickly if disturbed, often in small family groups.

References: The complete guide to Australian Birds. George Adams. Penguin Random House Australia 2018. p 314 Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 22/08/2023.