May 16

The Fairywren Project

Fairywren Hybrids with Dr Joe Welklin

Dr. Holly Parsons and Grant Williams recently spoke with Dr. Joe Welklin about his research for The Fairywren Project - examining a super-interesting group of Australasian birds, the genus Malurus, better known as Fairywrens.

Joe Welklin and his research partner Allison Johnson are the people behind The Fairywren Project. Joe is based at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the United States of America.  Allison is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, School of Biological Sciences.

No research project happens without a lot of people contributing, and Joe and Allison have a number of collaborators on this project. You can see them all here - The Fairywren Project Team

Fairywren habitats in Australia

During the conversation there was some discussion of the habitat types for each of the Australian species of Fairywren.  Here are some examples.

Superb Fairywren habitat example

Splendid Fairywren habitat

Red-backed Fairywren habitat

White-winged Fairywren habitat

Purple-backed Fairywren habitat

Blue-breasted Fairywren habitat

Here are Joe and Alison in typical Blue-breasted Fairywren habitat, Joe with the binoculars, and Allison with the boom microphone recording songs.

Follow-up Live Stream about Fairywren hybrids, featuring Joe and Holly 

Here is another instalment coming up featuring Joe, focusing on the hybridisation that occurs between the Fairywren species.  Joe and Allison have gathered many previous accounts, and observed many instances of hybridisation, and Joe will discuss the issues with Grant and Holly in a follow up episode.  Why not contribute your observations or thoughts?

Click to play


Allison Johnson, Birdlife Australia, Birds In Backyards, Fairywrens, fieldwork, Holly Parsons, Joe Welklin, research, The Fairywren Project

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