Booderee National Park

Important COVID-19 update

Booderee National Park has a number of COVID-19 safety measures in place to protect visitors, staff and the local community.

For further information on Booderee National Park’s COVID-19 safety measures please refer to the COVID-19 safety webpage and check the entry requirements before visiting Booderee National Park.

Southern emu-wren Southern emu-wren. Credit: Marj Kibby

This gorgeous little wren gets its name from the long, stiff, sparsely bristled tail feathers that resemble an emu’s plumes.

It is a particularly small bird at up to only 19 centimetres long, with its tail being over half of that length! The male is a streaky grey-brown in colour, with a pretty, pale powder blue throat and eye streak. The female is similar but lacks the blue colouration.

Where

Emu-wrens love moist vegetation and make their homes in heath and scrub, scrambling through dense heath and vegetation - never far from water. They are feeble fliers and prefers to scramble through the dense heath and vegetation, looking almost like mice! You’ll need to be patient and still to see them as they rarely appear on the ground or above the shrub canopy. Look for them around Booderee’s swamp and heath areas, such as Blacks Waterhole and Ryans Swamp.

Feeding

Emu-wrens eat insects and spiders from the thick foliage. Foraging parties of up to 40 birds may form outside the breeding season.

Breeding

Southern emu-wrens build small oval shaped nest of grass and twigs, hidden low in dense vegetation. The male defends a small territory with regular bursts of song. The female incubates the eggs and both parents feed the young, which remain with them for up to two months after fledging.

Sounds

Listen for very high-pitched trills.