Family Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)

Least Concern

Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)


French: Mérion élégant German: Silberkopf-Staffelschwanz Spanish: Maluro elegante

Malurus elegans


, 1837,

Swan River, south-west Australia


Belongs to “chestnut-shouldered group”, which also includes M. pulcherrimus, M. amabilis and M. lamberti. Monotypic.


Forested SW corner of Australia.

Descriptive notes

14–15·5 cm; 8·5–11·5 g. Male in Bright plumage has crown, upper back and ear-coverts iridescent sky-blue, narrow blue ring around eye; lores, nape and lower back... read more


Song a reel typical of genus, with 3–4 introductory notes more prolonged than in other... read more


Dense understorey vegetation mainly in tall eucalypt (Eucalyptus) forest; also wet coastal... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, especially ants (Formicidae) and beetles (Coleoptera); also some spiders (Araneae). Lives in groups of 2–9 individuals,... read more


Season short, Oct–Dec. Socially monogamous but probably sexually promiscuous (as congeners); remains paired throughout year. Co-... read more


Resident. Dispersal mainly by females more than 1 year old; both sexes rarely disperse farther than... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in South-west Australia EBA. Generally considered to be reasonably common. Long-lived, and able to survive fires.

Recommended citation

Rowley, I. & Russell, E. (2018). Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 November 2018).