Red-backed Fairy-wrens Malurus melanocephalus are small insectivorous birds that inhabit Australia's tropical and subtropical savannas. We studied a colour-banded population in the Kimberley, Western Australia, to describe how they partition their time among the main habitat elements within their savanna environment. Eighty-nine focal watches on 29 individuals showed that Red-backed Fairy-wrens spend most of the cooler parts of their day foraging (60%), then preening/loafing (17%), then being vigilant (14%). Behaviours were not randomly undertaken across substrates, with foraging most common in grass, vigilance most common in Acacia spp. and preening/loafing most common in the thorny shrub, Carissa lanceolata. There was no significant relationship between sex and substrate or activity, suggesting that during the dry season males and females have similar time budgets.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|