Purple-crowned Fairy-wren

Malurus coronatus

There are two subspecies of this specialist inhabitant of dense vegetation along the fringes of permanent rivers. During the breeding season (September to March) the male is striking, with a bright purple crown, bordered below by black and with a black centre patch. The back and wings are brown, the underparts are pale buff to cream and the tail is blue. The purple crown is replaced with blue-grey in the non-breeding season and the black collar is reduced to a patch blackish on the ear coverts. The female resembles the non-breeding male, but has reddish-brown ear coverts. Food consists mainly of insects, supplemented with some seeds, which are gather on the ground or low down in grasses (especially pandanus) and shrubs.