Orange-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus
malherbi FAMILY: Platycercidae
Endemic and fully protected.
Smallest of the NZ Parakeets, it is most
similar to the Yellow-fronted Parakeet, but with an
orange forhead and pale yellow crown. Previously
found throughout the South Island in mountain forest
areas, but now very rare, They are found
in dense bush up to sub-alpine levels and sightings
of Yellow-fronted Parakeets should be carefully checked
for these rarer birds. They feed on fruits
and seeds. Breeding is similar to the other
KOKAKO / Blue-wattled Crow.
cinerea FAMILY: Callaeidae Endemic,
with 2 closely related sub-species shown in plate.
Fully protected. Twice the size
of a Tui with dark bluish-grey plumage. North
Island has blue throat wattles while the South Island
has blue wattles with orange base. The tail
is long and drooping and the legs long and strong. It
is not a good flier and has short, rounded wings. The
Kokako is famed for its call, a wide orchestral range
of bell and flute like notes that carry far into the
bush. Once heard, never forgotten. They
feed on fruits, leaves and flowers. The
North Island species is rare but widely distributed
in pockets of unmodified native bush throughout the
North Island. The South Island species was
formerly in forested areas of South and Stewart Islands
but is now extremely rare, if not extinct. Breeding
is from November to March. The nest is a
platform of twigs and branches lined with mosses and
fern scales, in a tree fork or tight branches up to
10mts above ground. The eggs, 2-3, are a
pale stony-grey with brown and purple blotches and spots.
STITCHBIRD / Hihi
cincta FAMILY: Meliphagidae
Endemic to NZ and fully protected.
One of 3 honey eaters found in NZ. Size
of Bellbird, the male with black head and neck, white
ear tuft and yellow shoulder-patch. The
female and immature birds are drab olive all over, with
a white shoulder-patch which distinguishes it from the
female Bellbird. The call is 'tzit'. These
birds were originally in the southern North Island and
major offshore islands, but is now confined to Little
Barrier Island since the 1880s. Found in
forest of varying types and attracted to nectar-bearing
trees and shrubs, they feed on nectar of pohutukawa,
kohekohe and flax, also insects. Breeding
is from November to December and the nest of sticks,
roots and tree fern scales is in holes of trees or branches.
The eggs, 3-5, are white.
SADDLEBACK / Tieke
Endemic with 2 closely
related sub-species shown in plate. Fully
size of a Tui, with orange wattles, red when breeding.
One of 3 NZ wattle birds, the others being
the Kokako and Stitchbird. The North
Island species has a pale stripe seperating the black
neck from the chestnut back. Does short
flights and tends to hop from branch to branch. The
North Island species was formerly abundant on the mainland
and major offshore islands, but is now restricted naturally
to Hen Island. Liberations on Cuvier, Fanal,
Red Mercury and Middle Chicken Islands have proved successful.
The South Island species was abundant on
the mainland and major off-lying islands, becoming extinct
on Big South Cape, Solomon and Pukaweka Islands by 1974.
Subsequent liberations have been to Kaimohu
and Stage Islands, with more liberations made to 4 other
islands from those stocks. Saddleback feed
on the forest floor or low tree trunks for invertabrates
and fruits. Breeding is from October to
January. The nest is of twigs with a fine
lining, set in hollow trees or in dense cover from the
ground to 2mt. The eggs, 2, are pale grey
or white with light brown spots and blotches concentrated
at the thick end.
Robin chicks with foster parent Chatham
Robin Petroica traversi
Endemic and fully protected.
Size between the Robin and Tomtit, all black.
These birds were formally on Pitt and Mangere
Islands of the Chatham Group, but are now confined to
the small and precipitous Little Mangere Island. They
are extremely rare and efforts have been made over the
last 30 years or so to breed them by using Tomtits as
foster parents. This mathos has proves successful
and the numbers have risen. They inhabit
low coastal Akeake forest and feed on a large range
of insects and grubs. Breeding is from October
to November. Nests are variable, usually
a small cup with a lining including feathers and sheltered
by a covering branch, or in a hollow branch or log.
The eggs,2, are cream.
and fully protected. This is
a very large ground parrot, nocturnal and flightless.
The voice is a deep, hoarse booming, but
the range of calls include a variety of eerie coughs,
squeals and grunts. The are extremely rare
and presently confined to a few valleys in Fiordland
and Stewart Island, where birds were discovered late
last century. Stocks have been transferred
to a vermin-free island in the Marlborough Sounds. Found
in forested areas up to the snow-line. They
feed on a variety of grasses, berries and leaves. Breeding
is from December to May and the nest is in hollow
tree roots, under logs, in crevises or a deep excavated
burrow. The eggs, 3, are white. Possibly
only the female incubates and rears the chicks.
dark cold when snow clothed the ground,
I searched for Notornis, all
around. As the moon rose high,
the stars shone bright, glowing hundreds
of 'N's through the dark, damp night. I
saw the sillouette of a native tree, as
the 'N's 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.
Endemic and fully protected.
is the largest of the living rails, with a massive red
bill and short heavy legs. Flightless and
ponderous. These birds were
thought to be extinct until rediscovered in Fiordland
in 1948. Confined to high, alpine, tussock
grass lands valleys of Fiordland. Entry
into the reserved areas is by permit only. There
are continuing efforts to breed these birds at Mt
Bruce Reserve, Wairarapa. They feed on grass,
seeds, tussock and insects. Breeding
is from October to November and the nest is a large
bulky structure between clumps of tussock. The
eggs, 1-2, are dull cream with brown and mauve blotches.
Island Snipe Coenocorypha aucklandica
FAMILY: Scolopacidae Endemic
with four other sub-species confined to southern offshore
islands. Fully protected. New
birds discovered on Chatham Island in 2005. These
birds are about the size of a Song Thrush, with a long
bill and fast, whirring flight, low and in short bursts.
They are active at night and feed on worms
and grubs on the forest floor and among grasses. Breeding
is from November to December. The nest is
a small depression on the ground, lined with grass and
under cover of boulders or grass. The eggs,
2-3, are light brown, with brown spots and blotches
Zealand Thrush/Piopio Turnagra
capensis FAMILY: Turnagridae Endemic
to NZ with two closely related sub-species. Fully
protected. Both of these are presumed extinct,
however there have been sighting claims in the
forests of the South Island, although none have been
substantiated. North and South Island are
illustrated. They feed mainly on the ground
on insects, vegetable matter, seeds and fruits. Breeding
is in December and the nest is compact, made of
twigs and moss-lined with grasses and fern scales. They
build the nest up to 4mts from the ground. The
eggs, 2, are white with black or brown spots, concentrated
on the larger end.
Island Bush Wren Xenicus longipes
FAMILY: Xenecidae Endemic
with two other sub-species. Fully
protected. Larger and darker
in colour than the Rifleman with a conspicuous eye stripe
and bobbing of the body after landing. The
voice is a subdued trill. Little
is known of this bird and it is extrmely rare. It
was formally widespread in remote forested mountain
areas of the Tasman and Spencer Ranges, Westland and
Otago, There have been reports of them in
and the Nelson Lakes area. The feed among
foliage on insects. Breeding
is from November to December and the nest is pouch-shaped,
of closely woven rootlets, lined with feathers on or
close to the ground. The eggs, 2-3, are
North Island Bush Wren is presumed extinct, while Steads
Bush Wren, which was previously on Stewart Island,
is close to extinction on islands off the SW coast of
Kiwi Apteryx australis FAMILY:
Spotted Kiwi Apteryx oweni FAMILY:
Spotted Kiwi Apteryx Haasti
three sub-species are now considered endangered. Read
about them in Aviary 1, Bush Birds.
PENGUIN / Hoiho
Penguin Megadyptes antipodes
FAMILY: Spheniscidae Endemic
and fully protected. This is the largest
of the New Zealand mainland penguins. The adult has
a yellow eye and yellow band all round the head. The
immature have a grey eye and no yellow band. Found
on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand,
and on the sub-Antarctic Islands of Auckland and Campbell.
The yellow-eyed penguin
is one of the world’s rarest penguins. They nest hidden
from each other. Breeding is from September to February,
and their nest of sticks and coarse grasses are usually
found in scrubland and coastal bush, sometimes up to
a kilometer inland. The eggs, 2, are white.
ISLAND FLIGHTLESS BROWN TEAL
Island Flightless Brown Teal Anus
aucklandica nesiotis Fully protected.
and critically endangered. These little
ducks were thought to inhabit the Campbell Island group.
Now, through predation, there are less than
20 birds surviving on a tiny remote 'rock' called Dent
Island in the sub-antarctic. This is a small,
dark brown duck and a sub-species of the Brown Teal.
They are flightless and nocturnal. They
are found in pairs or small flocks and the call is a
series of whistle-like notes that form a trill. They
run rapidly along the ground and feed on invertabrates
and some plants. There are about 60 birds
at present in the wild (mid 2006) and there is a captive
breeding programme with captive bred birds being released
on Campbell Island in 2006.