DOWN TO FIND THE BIRDS THAT LIKE ALPINE AREAS:
K is for KIWI, Reed)
cold night, when snow clothed the ground, I searched
for Notornis, all around. As the moon rose high, the
stars shone bright, glowing hundreds of Ns, through
the dark, damp night. I saw the sillouette of a native
tree, as the Ns shone down and covered me. Then,
suddenly, from the colourful glow, Notornis came slowly,
picking at the snow. I watched from an N as he
passed me by, me and Notornis, eye to eye.
/ MOUNTAIN PARROT
Nestor meridionalis FAMILY:
to NZ. Partially protected. Similar
size to Kaka but mainly olive-green with orange on the
rump and underwing. Their call is a harsh
'kee-a', called mainly when in flight. Mainly
in South Island high country from Marlborough-Nelson
to Fiordland, but reaching the coast during Winter in
Nelson and Westland. They are most commonly
seen above the bushline and also present in native bush.
They feed on leaves, roots, buds, fruit,
nectar and insects. Breeding
is from August to December and the nest is on the ground
in crevises or holes in logs, sometimes with leaves
and twigs for nesting material. The
eggs, 4-7, are white and only the female incubates.
more information on Kea click on this link
Wren Xenicus gilviventris FAMILY:
Xenicidae Endemic and fully
protected. Size between Silvereye and House
Sparrow with very short tail and very large feet. They
rarely fly more than a few yards, with frequent bobbing
of the body. They can often be heard underfoot
in rock piles. Found only in the South Island
from Nelson to Fiordland in alpine and sub-alpine scrubland,
on or in rockfalls and crevises. They feed
actively on or under ground mainly on spiders and insects.
Breeding is from September to November.
The nest is a large igloo-shaped structure
woven from snow tussock, usually generously lined with
feathers. The eggs, 2-5, are white.
Notornis mantelli FAMILY:
and fully protected. This bird is the largest
of the living rails and is considerably larger than
the Pukeko, with a massive red beak and short heavy
are flightless and ponderous. Notornis were
thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in
1948 in Fiordland, west of Lake Te Anau. They
are now confined to high, alpine, tussock-grassland
valleys in Fiordland, and entry into reserved areas
is by permit only. They feed on grass, tussock,
seeds and insects. Breeding is from October
to November and the nest is a bulky structure hidden
between clumps of tussock. The eggs, 1-2,
are a dull cream with brown and purple blotches.