Little Boy Blue by Denzil

Photographic Prints

Small (11.7" x 8.0")

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At last! A pic of my beautiful male Superb Fairy Wren (Malurus cyaneus) in all his breeding glory, with his missus in the background. They are so quick and flighty, it’s extremely difficult to catch them with my big lens, and although they will come quite close, somehow the 200mm lens isn’t quite good enough. But just the other day, he was so busy impressing his girlfriend that he didn’t seem to mind me at all, and I was able to creep up very close.

These tiny birds, no more than a few inches (the book says 14 cm) from stem to stern, are quite common in Adelaide Hills gardens, but these birds are susceptible to cat attacks and apparently to snake predation on their nests, which are often quite low to the ground. The male is mostly quite colourful, showing lots of blue, but he really comes into his own in the breeding season, when his splendid plumage draws the eye from anywhere in the garden. The female, while dull olive and seemingly quite drab, is really a very pretty bird in her own right, with a bright eye and that perky tail!

It is lovely to watch the juvenile birds gradually begin exhibiting their extreme sexual dimorphism as they mature, with the boy birds showing more and more blue as the season progresses. I actually quite like them when they’re still a bit tatty, a bit of blue here and there…

Outside my living room window, I put breadcrumbs on a table and these little charmers visit many times a day, just about a metre and half from where I sit at the laptop.

Balhannah, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, August 12 2011.

Canon EOS 400D, Canon 400mm EF L lens, f/5.6.
1/250th, ISO 800, shutter priority mode.

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686 views, as at October 29 2013


  • Barb Leopold
    Barb Leopoldover 3 years ago

    Ohhhhhh, my heart is going pit-a-pat…. what a pair of cuties and so worth waiting for Denzil!! You are right, you need all that 400mm length to give justice to these small treasures, and you are certainly getting the hang of it. Keep up the good work!!

  • Thank you!!! I thought I would cry when I saw this on the laptop!!! I’m so happy to have ‘shot’ them:)

    – Denzil

  • Barssel
    Barsselover 3 years ago

    Well done D……………these little bu…birds are very difficult to capture and having the female in the back ground is inspired.

  • Ade, many thanks – really appreciate the comment!

    – Denzil

  • LeeoPhotography
    LeeoPhotographyover 3 years ago

    What a brilliant capture of this beautiful fellow Denzil! I’m gonna have to get me that lens :)

  • Yes, you have to get one!!! And I’m not giving mine up now, for anything!!!
    I couldn’t be happier now that I seem to have some control over it …

    – Denzil

  • Meg Hart
    Meg Hartover 3 years ago

    Gorgeous Denzil!! I love these tiny charmers and know the difficulty of getting a good shot. Well done !! :)

  • Thanks Meg – they are the most beautiful of all the birds in my garden – and the hardest to ‘grab’ – as you know:)

    – Denzil

  • Lance Leopold
    Lance Leopoldover 3 years ago

    WOW!! that’s a superb shot,Denzil,up on the wall with that one!!!

  • Lance, thanks so much!! I’m soooo pleased:)

    – Denzil

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottover 3 years ago

    superb bird, wonderful shot Denzil

  • Thanks Robert, this shot made me very happy:)

    – Denzil

  • jono johnson
    jono johnsonover 3 years ago

    Congrats on you capture an effort Denzil, a beauty :-)

  • Thanks Jono – he is a real beauty!!

    – Denzil

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonover 3 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL work,

  • Thanks!!!

    – Denzil

  • joak
    joakover 3 years ago

    whit a wee stunner!..magic denzil

  • Thanks Joak!!! Isn’t he the prettiest little boy???

    – Denzil

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alover 3 years ago

    You have earned bragging rights for this shot Den. It’s great and it’s a fav.

  • Al, thanks so much – I probably haven’t been happier with any pic I’ve taken:) I’m bragging OK!! And thanks for faving too:)

    – Denzil

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