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Superb Fairy-Wren

Superb Fairy-Wren
Photo Information
Copyright: Jose Miguel Cisneros (JoseMiguel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1419 W: 3 N: 1610] (5658)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Blue Things II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-08-04 7:03
Viewed: 6489
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 126
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Superb Fairy-wren or Malurus cyaneus

I took this picture yesterday, at The Gap Park, in Watsons Bay cliffs, Sydney.
It was a beautiful and sunny winter’s day, but the blue of the background seen is the Tasmanian Sea.

It’s been some time since my last post, but you know, things are going on, and now I’m very happy to resume my activity and be posting again.

Handheld with IS, crop, some RAW adjustments and image size for TN.

Shutter speed: 1/640
Aperture value: f/7.1
Focal length: 260mm
AF mode: One shot
Flash: Off
ISO 320

Adult male Superb Fairy-wrens are among the most brightly coloured of the species, especially during the breeding season. They have rich blue and black plumage above and on the throat. The belly is grey-white and the bill is black.
Females and young birds are mostly brown above with a dull red-orange area around the eye and a brown bill. Females have a pale greenish gloss, absent in young birds, on the otherwise brown tail. The legs are brown in both sexes.

Several other species of fairy-wren are found in Australia. The males of each species are quite distinct, but the females and young birds are often difficult to separate.

Distribution and Habitat
Superb Fairy-wrens are found south of the Tropic of Capricorn through eastern Australia and Tasmania to the south-eastern corner of South Australia. In this range they are seen in most habitat types where suitable dense cover and low shrubs occur.
They are common in urban parks and gardens, and can be seen in small social groups. These groups normally consist of one male and several females and young birds.

Food and Feeding
Superb Fairy-wrens feed on insects and other small arthropods. These are caught mostly on the ground, but may also be taken from low bushes. Feeding takes place in small social groups.

The breeding season of the Superb Fairy-wren is quite long, July to March, but most activity takes place around September to January. The nest is a dome-shaped structure of grasses and other fine material. It is usually placed in a low bush and is constructed by the female.
The female incubates the three to four eggs alone, but both sexes feed the young. Other members of the group will also help with the feeding of the young.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Maluridae
Genus: Malurus
Species: M. cyaneus

Australian Museum

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To LordPotty: IridescentJoseMiguel 1 09-02 05:13
To cicindela: BluesJoseMiguel 1 08-18 15:05
To sandpiper2: Thank you!JoseMiguel 1 08-06 02:53
To claudine: ColourJoseMiguel 1 08-06 02:46
To mlines: ThanksJoseMiguel 1 08-06 02:37
To Heaven: Blue sur blueJoseMiguel 1 08-06 02:33
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi José!

As usual, you present us a marvellous picture that differs from other ones by the fine colour management. Even if I find the uniform blue background not ideal for this picture it highlights the unity of the colour tones quite well. The subject is as interesting as your instructive notes and it's simply a pleasure to look at this posting.

Kind regards


Ciao Jose Miguel,
stupenda cattura di scricciolo splendente azzurro, eccellenti POV, DOF e composizione con la bella posa, ottima nitidezza, molto belli, contrastati e saturi i colori e BG.
TFS. Maurizio

What a wonderful addition Jose...Were you a trip? This looks more tropical and to find it in this area which you picture is quite a surprise. I am somewhat wondering why I have not seen more of these posted. I have added it to my blue collection if for not the aviary then for the sea behind:-0

Hi Jose Miguel,
Wow! What a superb specie! I would be much impressed to see this colorful bird! His colors are truly amazing and his name fits him so well! He looks like coming out from a fairy tale :)! You caught very nice details and beautiful catch-light in his eye. I would have tried to let a little more space in front of the bird but maybe this was impossible. Anyway, this is a great shot and thanks for sharing this wonderful creature! Regards,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-04 9:48]

Hello José Miguel,
A great capture of this Superb Fairy wren, a bird that is not easy to photograph. You have taken this from a fin e POV with good sharpness and colours.
TFS this beauty,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-04 9:57]

Hi Jose,

I have never seen this amazing looking bird before! Wonderful shot to show him off so well. The colors are almost unbelievable - that blue face is amazing and with the lavender and black he is really a fashionplate. Superb details from head to toe and tail. A wonderful composition on the diagonal branch with the large leaves and the sea as a background.


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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-08-04 10:20]

Hi Jose.
What an unusual and wonderful colouration of the bird and colour tones of the shot. Amazing, well reproduced birdy and simple and at the same time fine surroundings. I also like excellent details and sharpness of the bird image and precise exposure of all tones from so wide colour range. My best wishes and compliments. Well done.

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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-04 12:12]

Hi Jose. I have never seen a bird so blue as this one. Such bright colours which you have taken so well.good detail and a nice POV/DOF. well done TFS. good notes too.

Hi Jose, Very colourful and sharp small fairy wren, a favorite in the gardens here. I like the blue tones and the little legs so visible on the twig. TFS. Murray.

PS Hope to meet you before too long, maybe with John.

Hi Jose,

A beauty, the blue feathers against the subtly different blue of the background is nice. A nice composition too.


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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-05 4:42]

Hello José,
This little lovely bird is really hard to catch so you did very well to get so close. I like its pose and the glilmpse in its eye! Fine details and colours too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

hi jose,
i just loved the way this beautifulbird is looking towards the lens, the sky makes a fine bg here,
tfs & regards

Hi Jose Miguel

Welcome to Australia!

One of the best fairy-wren shots I've seen. You were lucky to find a fuuly coloured male like this in winter. Excellent composition, brilliant sharpness and plumage detail.


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  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-08-05 7:12]

Hello Jose
Nice capture of that lovely species I had never seen before.Sharp image with excellent plumage detail.That blue BG is outstanding.
TFS Michel

Olá Jose Miguel

Linda, linda esta foto...o pássaro se destaca pela belíssima luz que incide sobre ele, pois é tão azul quanto o céu...fascinante, meus parabéns Miguel.
Grande abraço,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-08-05 13:28]

Hola amigo,
vaya pájaro nos regalas,
la combinación de colores es preciosa,
una bella captura, contra ese azul, realmente luminoso,
saludos José Miguel

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-08-05 14:04]

Hi Jose',this beautifull pic no need comment but just a lot of compliments,it's simply a great spectacle of nature perfectly taken from a great photographer like you,thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano

Hallo Jose
I have been much occupied lately and missed the day you posted this beauty. Now I have a few minutes to compliment you on such a beautiful posting. The colours of this bird are really remarkable and vivid. It strongly catches the eye. The blue feathers are really special and create a feeling of royalty that surrounds it. I just love the “cap” it has on its head and the almost blue eye is magic. Focus, sharpness and composition are great. In fact the whole presentation is done in a very pleasant and eye-catching manner. Thanks for sharing this beauty.
Kind regards

Hola Jose Miguel,
Precioso encuadre para este bellísimo ejemplar, magnífico los detalles que aporta con esta tonalidad tan bonita y poco habitual, gracias por compartir estas joyas, saludos
José Ramón

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-08-06 7:21]

Bonjour Jose,
Tu nous présentes un magnifique oiseau coloré que je ne connaissais pas encore. Très bon focus sur l'oiseau. Le fait que le ciel soit d'un bleu très intense fait un peu de concurrence au plumage de l'oiseau. Mais heureusement qu'on ne choisit pas encore le temps qu'il fait! Un grand merci aussi pour la note.

hello Jose Miguel

each day or lamost in TN we discover new speecies of birds,
excellent shot of this wonderful bird, fine POV & framing,
excellent sharpness and details of the plumage
with beautiful catch-light at the eye, TFS


Hola Jose,
Como esta usted!
many thanks for sharing this beautiful captured on the Wren!
very good close up with wonderful colour and superb details in the shot
well done
muchas gracias

Absolutely beautiful. Really nice with great colours, sharpness.
Best wishes,

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-08-08 2:52]

Hi Jose Miguel

Wow...look at all those colors...how terrific is that!!! They really grab your attention right from the thumbnail.

Nice to see some new shots from you again, my friend and i hope to see a lot more coming :) I also hope that after we all decide, you will find time (and money, of course) to come to our meeting next year. I for one would sure love to meet you in person and go shooting with you.

This is a terrific shot even "outside" the colors.
The sharpness and composition are also terrific and the DOF is just excellent for the depth of the bird - with focus on the head of the subject.
Add to that a great and profesional presentation and you have a gorgeous post...typical for you.

Bravo and TFS

Hello Jose
What amazing colours this little Superb Fairy-wren is. He blends in well with the sky. He is definitely a little beauty to find amongst the trees and shrubs. Well done.
TFS Janice

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-08-09 1:33]

Wow Jose, what an eye catching shot! I love the saturation in the colours and the composition and detail are both excellent! Beautiful work, well done!

Hi Jose,

A nice close-up image of the Fairy-Wren on the branch. The subject is well frame. The picture is clear and precise. The colors are enhanced by the quality of the light. Well done, have a nice day.


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  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-08-09 22:21]

Outstanding shot of this beautiful bird Jose. I've only seen the male a couple of times and never got a chance for a shot like this one. This one is very excellent, with perfect positioning and colour, and a perfect capture of that eye. Very nicely done.

Enjoy your visit to Australia. I expect we'll see a lot more very excellent shots of this nature from yourself over the next while.

Thanks, John

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-08-10 7:45]

Hello Jose Miguel! That's a fantastic bird and a great shot! Good pose, great sharpness and a very good background!


Hi Jose , my dear friend,
Very nice shot with great colours and nice BG.
Comp is excellent too.
Very well done.It is lovely shot.

Kind regards

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  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-08-13 13:22]

Hi Jose Miguel
It's a fantastic picture of this interesting bird, the sharpness is good and the color and details excellent.
Good job

Hi, Jose,

wow, this is a beauty!! an excellent capture of a lovely bird with very attractive colours. thanks for sharing.

Man Yee

Hello Jose Miguel,

Very good capture of this beautiful bird. Excellent composition, POV, DOF and focus. Excellent sharpness and the light is perfect to enhance the detail of the feathers. Superb colours.

Wow! This one looks so... blue! ;) Wonderful capture of totaly new species for me! I knew that in Neotropics there are many very colourful species, but not so blue :)
Nice composition and details Jose Miguel! Very nice work! :)
All the best from Europe! ;)

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  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-08-18 19:57]

Hi Jose,
Outstanding shot of this tiny and cute Wren in a fine pose. Great colours and details on its plumage and the lighting is superbly handled. I like the blue sky as backdrop which gives this image an added dimension. Thanks for sharing.

Great shot of this beautiful wren Jose..They got the common name correct :)
Bold color, nice detail, POV and closeup comp.
Well done,

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-08-19 16:48]

Hola Jose Miguel.- La combinacion de clores azules son muy hermosos. La pose del Pajarillo exelente, y un muy buen trabajo del fotografo para lograr esta bella imagen. Saludos. Un abrazo.

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  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-08-22 14:01]

Super sharp with beautiful colors and excellent detail! Very nice composition and great catchlight in eye.

Une belle mozaïque. Puissante couleurs.
Bonne journée.

Hola Jose Miguel,
What a beautiful bird.
You got a good close shot of it.
I get the impression that this tone of blue is tricky to capture and balance.
Some colours like this either seem to not register at all on the sensor or,coversley,seem to 'iridesce' and behave as if they're trying to break out of the area they are actually in (a bit like very bright whites).
You've managed these blues quite well.
It almost looks like you had to'replace' some colour that didn't translate well in digital ... was that the case ?
A wonderful shot anyhow.

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  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-02 3:41]

Hola José Miguel,
What a striking plumage with a charming tone of blue! Thanks for sharing this beautiful bird.
Un saludo,

Colori e dettagli fantastici per questo coloratissimo uccello: complimenti per lo scatto!

Ciao e grazie, Emanuele

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-09-04 7:22]

Hello Jose,
What an amazing species you display for us. The colors and patterns on it plummage are fantastic, superbly captured. Thank you.

Hi José!

Nice to see you back posting and what a stunner this is, the colours are just amazing, wonderful detail, perfect POV, really nice work, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

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  • dip (59)
  • [2008-09-04 21:19]

Hi Jose!
wonderful photo of the bird,amazing colors and great framing,
excellent captured!

Hello Jose,

Wow! This bird is completely new to me!
I have never seen one that is camouflaged by the sky before!
Superb composition and taken in well managed light, which appears to be very strong!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Merhaba Jose,masmavi ve sevimli bir kuş.Bu site sayesinde ufkum genişledi.Öyle güzel renklere sahipki,sen de çok fotoğraflamışsın.Kompozisyon ve kadraj çok güzel,ellerine sağlık :)

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  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-09-05 23:27]

Hi Jose

A "superb" capture of this Superb Fairy-wren.
The intense blue of the sky actually increased the appearance of the powerful royal blue of the bird's
head, cheek and neck while the scattered green leaves provided contrast and balance to the composition.
The overall plumage shows good details with only the tail stretching outside the range of the DOF.
You even managed to get a little highlight in the eye which brings life to it.

Well done and TFS.

Hi Jose M,
What a lovely and perfec shot of this strange -at least for me!-colourfull wren which I have nevere seen before. Great vivid colours and razor sharp image.
Many thanks for sharing this beauty my friend!
Have a nice week!


Jose, Thank you for your visit and comment.
I find this colour to be very pleasing on the eye.
The details on bird stand out well considering the closeness in colours.
The presentation is well seen.

Hello JM,

This is a cute little fellow, giving a fine pose!
I notice a piece of the sky has fallen in his head, hehehe...
Otherwise sharp fine details in the plumage, and the colours are well reproduced; a well balanced composition!

Pablo -

Hola Jose Miguel,
Tus fotos son bellos, me gusta mucho los colores y el contraste.
Este pajaro es magnifico - los colores increíbles.
TFS, Shir

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-09-15 22:48]

Hello Jose,
such a stunning and captivating shot of a wren. Blue on blue yet so distinguishing. Very elegant pose by the bird and very excellent post by you. Well composed with excellent clarity and great sharpness.
Indeed a very exquisite shot by you. I also salute you, with just 38 shots and you are awarded with 5000 odd points, that is incredible. Congratulations!



Your gallery is incredible - I love how colorful it is. Very nice work. TFS.

Best Regards,


(sorry for this short critique, but I am out of time)

Hello Jose Miguel. This is just a wonderfully framed shot. Stunning perch on the diagonal branch with leaves in view. Superb spotless blue sky and the details of the bird are flawless. Well done and warm regards. Jusni

What a colorful bird,The contrast is bit too much otherwise an excellent picture. I like the catch light in its eyes.

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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-10-20 12:05]

Hi Jose

What an amazing bird, it is such a bright, vibrant blue colour. Wonderful sharp details and a lovely pose captured. Very lovely



i have spent many an hour trying to capture these little wrens. They are a challenge and you have aced this - well done.

What an amazing shot, Jose!
I love the colours and the perfect sharpness of this shot!

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-01-13 23:35]

Hello Jose Miguel,
Wonderful shot with lovely colour tones and sharpness on its plumage. Superb lighting and you have captured a very good pose set againt a great BG. Excellent POV and very nicely composed. Best regards Siggi

Hola Jose Miguel, these little guys never seem to stop, so I appreciate the difficulty of taking such a clear shot as yours. His colours are magnificent and look so beautiful against the azure sky. I hope you enjoyed your time in Australia, it really is a nature-lover's paradise. TFS, Lisa

Very interesting and nice bird.
Great capture.
Good night.

amazign bird, TFS Ori

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