The naming of a new bird species

In January 2018 the International Ornithological Union  identified a new species of Fairy-wren in Australia.

The Purple-backed Fairy Wren (Malurus assimilis) species was previously a sub-species (Malurus lamberti assimilis) of the Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti), a bird (pictured below) which we are familiar with here in the catchment.

But exactly what features determined the need to create a new species?

The March edition of Jim Butler's Feather Fascination describes the criteria used by ornithologists to identify the Malurus assimilis.

  A Variegated Fairy-wren (photo courtesy of Ed Frazer)

It's a very interesting read - click here to learn more!