About the project

City of Melbourne is planning strategic vegetation works in and around Royal Park to improve habitat and ecological connectivity for small birds like the superb fairy-wren. Our job, at the Superb City Wren project, is to collect information that can help guide and evaluate the success of habitat restoration works for these small woodland birds.

We’ll do this in three steps:

Step 1: Where are the Fairy-wrens now?

We want to find out where superb fairy-wrens are living and foraging the Parkville area. And importantly, where they aren’t.

To make things easier, we’ve given the fairy-wrens in Royal Park some special jewellery – coloured leg bands that let us know which bird is which and where it was first captured. This means we can track the number and movement of fairy-wrens through the park.

By learning about the places fairy-wrens are, and aren’t, we can make sure that future work to improve habitat happens where it’s most needed.

Step 2: Improving habitat for fairy-wrens

Superb fairy-wrens often do very well in cities. They love hopping about in parklands and open spaces, chasing insects as they go.

But they depend on dense shrubs that provide them protection from predators and bully birds, as well as a safe place to build a nest.

The City of Melbourne have planned to boost shrub cover in strategic locations in the hope that this will lead to more fairy-wrens (and other small native birds) in more places.

Step 3: Did it work?

How will we know if we were successful? Why, by following fairy-wrens of course!

In the final phase of the project, we’ll keep tagging and tracking fairy-wrens to see how they’ve responded to the habitat improvements. By comparing the number and location of birds before and after shrubs were added, we’ll learn whether we achieved our goal of getting more fairy-wrens in more places.

Got more questions? Head to our FAQ page!