12 Nov 2013

Superb result: True blue Aussie named Australia’s favourite bird

Superb Fairywren has been named Australia's favourite bird
Superb Fairywren has been named Australia's favourite bird (JJ Harrison;
By Martin Fowlie

Superb Fairywren has been named Australia's favourite bird after a national poll by BirdLife Australia saw more than 8,000 people vote throughout October.

As Australia's Favourite Bird, the Superb Fairywren will feature on the cover of BirdLife Australia's magazine in December, and the true blue Aussie, often described as a fearless charmer, is bound to appear in backyards and gardens across the country.

Editor of BirdLife Australia's magazine, Sean Dooley says it was a very close race between Superb Fairywren and Australian Magpie with the final decision coming down to postal votes. Hooded Plover made a late surge to take third place from the better known Rainbow Lorikeet and Laughing Kookaburra.

"We saw people of all ages and from all parts of Australia vote for their favourite birds, which meant different birds ended up as favourites on a state-by-state basis but the Superb Fairywren claimed the number one spot nationally”, Sean Dooley said.

"While polling closed at the end of October, we've had to count a large number of postal votes to confirm Australia's favourite bird. The response has been phenomenal and demonstrates the passion for birds in our country."

People were asked to choose their favourite from 52 of Australia’s most common neighbourhood birds. Australian Magpie ended up 100 votes behind the winner while Hooded Plover came in third place.

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The remaining top 10 birds were all fairly even in the overall tally. The online poll received votes from 38 other countries with Spotted Pardalote favourite among international voters. 

Superb Fairy-wrens are found south of the Tropic of Capricorn through eastern Australia and Tasmania to the south-eastern corner of South Australia. Male Superb Fairywrens have been labelled as the least faithful birds in the world. Females are courted by up to 13 males in half an hour and males from outside the social group sire 76% of the young.

Sean Dooley said "the popularity of the Superb Fairywren comes down to their beauty and their common appearance in backyards across the eastern and southern states."

Superb Fairy-wren is a beautiful bird with a very musical bird call, and they're common across Australia's eastern and southern states, which account for some of the reasons it's been named Australia's favourite.

The national poll coincided with Bird Week 2013, a week of bird-focused celebrations across the country including art shows, bird walks, counts & camps, and breakfasts with the birds.

Australians have been celebrating Bird Week for more than 100 years and with Spring the peak nesting and breeding time for many of Australia's favourite birds, it's the perfect time to see them in action and learn more about how we can help them.

Full details are available at