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( white-winged fairywren Malurus leucopterus) is a bird species in the family Maluridae, unrelated to true wrens. It lives in the drier parts of central Australia, from central Queensland and South Australia to Western Australia. Like other fairywrens, this species displays marked sexual dimorphism, and one or more males of a social group grow brightly coloured blue plumage during the breeding season. The females, sandy-brown with light-blue tail feathers, are smaller, and almost indistinguishable from the younger sexually mature males. A subspecies is found on Dirk Hartog Island, and another on Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australia, both having black rather than blue male plumage. The white-winged fairywren mainly eats insects, and lives in heathland and arid scrubland. It is a cooperative breeding species, and small groups of birds maintain and defend territories year-round. Groups consist of a socially monogamous pair with several helper birds who assist in raising the young. As part of a courtship display, the male wren plucks petals from flowers and brings them to female birds. ( ) Full article...
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