domesticus FAMILY: Ploceidae
from Europe 1860s. Not protected. Most
commonly seen bird in built up areas. 14.5cms
throughout NZ in abundance, prefering areas near habitation.
Often roosting in large flocks. Feeds
on insects, seeds, grain, fruits, scraps, and
flax nectar, depending on locality and season. Breeding
is from July to April and there are several broods produced
each season. The nest is a large, untidy
structure of grass lined with feathers, usually in holes
in buildings, trees and cliffs and colonies in high
trees. The eggs, 5-7, are white, heavily
spotted and streaked with greyish-brown. Incubation
13 days, fledging 15 days. 5 or more broods
may be produced. Female and juvenile plumage is
dull brown above, pale below.
Sparrow Prunella modularis FAMILY:
1868 from Europe. Not protected. 14.5cms.
and solitary bird, moving in short hops with flicking
movements of wings and tail. Hence the old
name of 'Shufflewing'. Another common name is
Dunnock. Common throughout
NZ, mainly in gardens, hedges, scrubland, forest
edges and clearings. Feeds on insects and
small seeds. Breeding is from August to
January. The nest is usually close to the
ground in thick cover, neatly lined with mosses, hair,
fine grasses and sometimes wool. The eggs,
3-5, are pure intense turquoise-blue and incubation
takes 12 days, fledging 11-15 days.
THRUSH Turdus philmelos FAMILY:
from Europe in the 1860s. Not protected.
throughout NZ in gardens, parks and open farmland. Feeds
mainly on the ground on worms, slugs, snails, insects,
berries and small fruit. Has a loud and
rapid alarm call of 'tchik-tchik'. Sexes alike. Breeding
is from June to January and more than one clutch is
produced. The nest is usually low down,
in shrubs and small trees. It is large and
made of twigs, roots, grasses and mud, with the
deep cup lined with a mixture of rotten wood and saliva.
The eggs, 3-6, are clear-blue with black spots
scattered mainly at the large end. Incubation
13-14 days, fledging 13-14 days.
Fringilla coelebs FAMILY:
from Europe in the 1860s. Not protected. 15cms.
and female different, the female being mainly brown
with the white wing patches. Both sexes
have distinctive white outer tail feathers and white
wing patch. Flight
is undulating. Found throughout NZ, but
nowhere in large numbers. Mainly in gardens,
orchards and scrubland, but also found in exotic forest
and native bush up to the scrubline. Outside
the breeding season they often get in loose flocks and
during Winter single birds can often be seen in flocks
with other finches. Feeds on insects and
seeds. Breeds from October to February.
The nest is tight, neatly woven, and
made of moss, grass and fine roots, plastered on the outside
with moss and lichen and lined with fine grass, feathers
and thistledown. Often they are built close
to a tree trunk, at the fork of a branch. The
eggs, 4-6, grey to green-blue with purplish to reddish-brown
splotches OR pure blue with slight blackish-purple
spots. Incubation 11-13 days, fledging 13-14 days.
Carduelis chloris FAMILY:
from Europe during the 1860s. Not protected. 15cms.
tail and heavy brown bill, the male is olive green while
the female and young are duller and browner. All
have distinctive yellow markings on the wings and tail.
Plentiful throughout NZ up to 600mt.
in open country, gardens, parks, hedges and pine-plantations.
Usually in pairs but flocking in Autumn.
Feeds on seeds, insect larvae, fleshy fruits,
and sometimes leaves and fruit flowers. Breeding
is from September to January, with usually two broods.
The nest is made of fine sticks, moss and
roots, and lined with wool, hair and feathers. Often
in a fork in a tree up to 20ft. The eggs,
4-6, are off-white with red-brown spots or streaks.
Incubation 13-14 days, fledging 13-16 days. Usually
Acanthis flammea FAMILY:
from Europe 1860s. Not protected. 12cms.
throughout NZ in scrubland up to sub-alpine, generally
away from towns. Feeds mainly on insects,
seeds and the soft parts of plants. Breeding
is from September to January with often two broods.
The nest is small and compact and made from
grass, wool and twigs and lined with hair, wool or feathers.
The eggs, 4-5, are bluish-white with dark
and light brown spots and streaks. Incubation
10-12 days, fledging 11-14 days.
Sturnus vulgaris FAMILY: Sturnidae
from Europe 1862. Not protected. 21cms.
common throughout NZ, up to sub-alpine except in dense
bush. Winter plumage is black speckled with
buff-white, bill black, sexes alike. Breeding
plumage: Bill yellow. Male mainly black with purple-green
gloss, while the female retains the speckling. Immature
are dull brown with dark bill. Feeds on
worms, grubs, fruit and insects, and often form large flocks
in open paddocks and beaches. Breeding is
from September to January, with often two broods. They
nest in holes in buildings, trees, cliffs and banks
and the nest is an untidy mix of grasses and straw,.
The eggs, 4-7, are pale blue with a slight
gloss. Incubation 13 days, fledging 21 days.
Placing wooden nest boxes on poles
or trees will attract Starlings to nest in them.