are so many things that begin with C, like caterpillars, cuckoos
and crabs. Chrysalis that dangle, soon to be free, clematis
that hangs from the top of a tree. A cranefly, a crake or
a crack in the wall, they all have their place, wether large or
small, they are part of the chain that links us all.
AND LONG TAILED CUCKOO; WEKA; WHITEHEAD; YELLOWHEAD;
RED AND YELLOWFRONTED PARAKEETS
Endemic to NZ with one closely related sub-species.
Fully protected. Found throughout NZ up
to 1000mts. Mainly in native forest remnants,
gardens and parks. Rare in pure beech forest. The
Tui is slightly larger than the Blackbird, with a prominent white wing
throat tuft (this white tuft giving the bird the name 'Parson Bird'
by NZ pioneers). Known for its beautiful
bell-like call similar to the Bellbird, but with harsher tone and
croaks and gurgles. Their wings make a loud whirring
sound when in flight. Feeds on berries, nectar, fruit
and insects. The forehead is often stained with
pollen, especially when feeding on flax flowers. Breeding
is from October to January, with possibly 2 broods being reared.
The nest is a bulky structure of twigs and sticks lined
with fine grass, feathers and moss. The eggs, 3-4, are
pinkish-white with red-brown spots and blotches densest at the larger
The Kiwi is endemic
to NZ and is fully protected. There are
3 sub- species, North Island [shown in plate] South Island
and Stewart Island. Nth. Island is darkest
with dark legs. Sth. Island is lighter with
pale flesh coloured legs.
NZ in native bush, second growth and scrubland, but
rarer in the Sth. Island and is not seen west of the
main divide. Also becoming scarce in the North
Island. Kiwi feed at night on worms,
insects, seeds and berries, most located by smell. They
stay in burrows underground or beneath trees during
the day. Their call is an often repeated
shrill whistle 'ki-weee' in the male, hoarse and lower
pitched in the female. Kiwi breed throughout
the year especially July to February. They
nest in hollow logs, in holes in banks and under tree
roots. The eggs, 1-2, are smooth ivory white
or greenish-white, and very large for the size of the
bird. The male only incubates and cares
for the young. Unlike most birds, Kiwi have their nostrils
placed at the tip of their long bill.
LITTLE SPOTTED KIWI - [Apteryx oweni] and GREAT SPOTTED
KIWI [Apteryx haasti] are found in the South Island
mainly west of the main divide. They are
grey, banded and mottled with brownish-black. They
are respectively the smallest and largest of the Kiwis.
AND SHINING CUCKOOS
Chalcites lucidus FAMILY:
Found throughout NZ up to
these birds are more often heard than seen.
Voice is a musical series of double notes
with a downward slur at the end of the call. They are native and migratory, only
breeding in NZ. Fully protected.
They arrive in August, migrating
north in March to the Solomon Islands and Bismark Archipelago.
They feed on insects and caterpillars.
Breeding occurs October to January.
They lay in the nest of mainly Grey
Warbler, but also Fantail, Tomtit and Waxeye.
1 egg is laid per host and is greenish
or bluish-white to olive-brown. The
chick ejects any eggs or chicks of the host.
Number of eggs laid per season is
migratory, only breeding in NZ. Fully
Voice is a
long harsh piercing screech. They
are found throughout NZ , arriving in September
to October, and migrating north in February
to South-west Pacific Islands. They
feed on insects, young birds, lizards and eggs.
Breeding is from November to December
and 1 egg is laid in the nest of mainly Whitehead
and Brown Creeper, also Yellowhead, Tomtit,
Robin and Waxeye. The egg is creamy-white
spotted and blotched all over with purplish-brown
and grey. The eggs and chicks of
the host are ejected as with the Shining Cuckoo.
Gallirallus australis FAMILY:
to NZ with 4 closely related sub-species, Nth Island;
Western; Buff and Stewart Island. North
Island and Western are depicted. Fully protected
except on Chatham Islands. The Weka is an
inquisitive bird, flightless, with a measured walk,
flicking tail and rapid run. Nth Island- restricted to
Gisborne, Poverty Bay, but introduced elsewhere. Western
Weka are found in the Sth Island mainly west of the
main divide. Buff Weka were previously
in Canterbury but now restricted to the Chatham Islands.
Stewart Island Weka are present on Stewart
Island and other southern islands where they were
introduced by fishermen, whalers, sealers and muttonbirders.
They feed on a variety of vegetable and
animal matter, insects, worms, crustacea, rats and mice,
fruit, eggs and chicks of ground nesting birds. Breeding
is usually from September to April, but sometimes 3-4
times per year. The nest is a shallow cup
of woven grass under scrub, tussock, raupo. The
eggs, 3-6, are creamy-pink with scattered mauve blotches.
is endemic to NZ and is fully protected. Except
for the breeding season these little birds can
be seen and heard in noisy flocks in the forest
canopy. They feed on insects, seeds
and soft small fruits. Voice is a hard single
Found in the North Island and associated
offshore islands in native bush and exotic forests.
Breeding is from October to Februar
and the bulky, cup-shaped nest is made of twigs,
rootlets, grass and bark bound together with
spiders' web, and lined with bark, in
the canopy of shrubs or small trees. The
eggs, 2-4, are translucent white, variably spotted
with reddish-brown or brown. Whitehead
are often the host of the Long-tailed Cuckoo.
Yellowhead is endemic to NZ and fully protected. They
are locally common in South Island beech forest, and
frequent dense native bush canopy, feeding on insects
in foliage and debris collected in tree forks and bark.
Occasionally they will feed on the ground.
Breeding is from November to December. The
nest is cup-shaped and made of moss, rootlets
and spiders' web and lined with fine grasses, in holes
in dead trees. The eggs, 3-4, are pinkish-white
and evenly blotched with reddish-brown. The
female only incubates and they are sometimes host to
the Long-tailed Cuckoo.
also found in New Caledonia. There are several
closely associated sub-species in the NZ region. Fully
protected. These are a small parrot,
about the size of a Blackbird, with rapid wing beat,
swift straight flight and a chattering call mainly when
in flight. Found throughout NZ in large areas of native
bush, but more plentiful on outlying islands. They
feed on a wide variety of vegetable matter, from fruits
and seeds to leaves and buds. They are commonly
held in aviaries under permit. Breeding
is from October to March, and the eggs, 4-9, white, are
deposited in hollow trees and rock crevises.
with one other closely related sub-species, the Orange
Fronted Parakeet. Smaller than the Red-Crowned
Parakeet and more plentiful and widespread on the mainland.
Food and nesting is similar to the Red-Crowned.
Breeding is from August to April and
the female only incubates the eggs. Also
commonly held in aviaries under permit.
with closely related species in the Chatham Islands.
Fully protected. Small bird
with conspicuous white tip to tail when in flight. Warblers
are more commonly heard than seen, their song being
a penetrating high melodious rising and falling trill.
They are very active birds and will sometimes
hover near foliage when searching for food. Common
throughout NZ but absent from open country and high
alpine areas. Their food consists of spiders,
insects and larvae. Breeding is from August
to December with usually two clutches. The
nest is a hanging, pear-shaped structure with a small
side entrance, constructed of moss, grass and spiders'
web, lined thickly with feathers. The eggs,
3-5, are pinky-white, dotted all over with brown. The
Warbler is a favourite host of the Shining Cuckoo, who
lays its egg with the second clutch. The
Warbler then incubates and raises the chick.
to NZ with 6 sub-species. Fully protected.
Found throughout NZ but becoming localised
through loss of habitat, which includes swamps, wetlands,
scrubland and bracken. Not alpine. Fernbirds
feed on insects. Breeding is from September
to February and the nest is neatly woven of grasses
and rushes, with a deep cup lined with feathers. It
is well hidden a few centimetres from the ground or above stagnant
water. The eggs, 2-3, are pinkish-white
covered in brown dots which are concentrated at the