Become a ‘wren watcher’ to help us understand where superb fairy-wrens are living in Melbourne. Your feedback will help us plan vegetation works to improve habitat for small birds.
We want to find out where superb fairy-wrens live and forage in Parkville. And, importantly, where they’re not.
So we’re asking the community to become a ‘wren watcher’ by conducting a 15-minute ‘wren watch’ in one of 50 survey areas and reporting your sightings via the BioCollect app.
By learning where the fairy-wrens are, and are not, we can make sure future work to improve habitat happens where it’s most needed.
Three steps to become a wren watcher
- Pick a spot
Head to one of our 50 suggested survey areas in Royal Park and surrounds. Choose a single site or use our walkable maps to visit a cluster of sites in a single expedition. Stop and watch for 15 minutes.
- Watch carefully
Count all the superb fairy-wrens and any other small birds you see. Zoom in using binoculars or your phone to see if any have coloured leg bands, which show where the birds were first found. Take photos if you can.
- Submit your sightings
Record your notes and observations through the BioCollect app, or write down your observations on paper and then enter them on the project website or via the app later. If you notice a fairy-wren outside of the a designated survey area, drop a pin to create a new location in the app.
To learn more and download the full survey handbook, visit Superb City Wrens – An urban citizen-science project.
The Superb City Wrens project is a partnership between the City of Melbourne, BirdLife Australia, RMIT University and the University of Melbourne.
About superb fairy-wrens
Superb fairy-wrens are found throughout south-eastern Australia, commonly in urban parks and gardens with dense understorey plants.
They forage for insects on the ground and below shrubs, which makes them vulnerable to predators and habitat loss from urbanisation.
You can identify adult breeding males by their bright blue and black plumage around the head and throat, which is brightest during the breeding season from spring to late summer.
Females, juveniles and non-breeding males have greyish-brown plumage, males often with a blue tail. Females and juveniles also have distinctive red-orange colouring around their eyes and bills.