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Silvereye

Scientific Name: 
Zosterops lateralis
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12 cm, 13 g. Small green bird with conspicuous white eye-ring. Head and upperparts olive green with grey back and wash on lower neck and onto breast; underparts creamy white with pinkish-brown flanks and white undertail. Sexes alike. Juvenile lacks eye-ring. Usually in small flocks, except when breeding. Readily attracted to bird tables in cold winters. Flight call from flocks an excited ''cli-cli-cli''; single birds give a plaintive ''creel. Song a melodious mix of warbles, trills and slurs. Habitat: Forests, scrub, orchards, parks and gardens. Breeding: Sep-Mar.

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Skylark

Scientific Name: 
Alauda arvensis
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18 cm, 38 g. Dull yellow-buff bird, streaked and spotted brown on upperparts and breast. Adult has a small crest, raised when alert. Juvenile yellower and spottier, and lacks crest. In flight, whiteouter tailfeathers and white trailing edge to broad wings. Male in territorial flight display (Aug-Jan) soars with whirring wings up to 100 m, and slowly descends, all the time singing a sustained and vigorous torrent of varied trills and runs. Call, usually in flight, a liquid ''chirrup''. Habitat: Open country, from coast to subalpine. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Song Thrush

Scientific Name: 
Turdus philomelos
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23 cm, 70 g. Warm brown above, buff-white below, with breast boldly spotted dark brown. Bill yellowish brown with yellow gape; legs pinkish brown. Sexes alike. Juvenile similar but more yellowish buff, spotted and streaked paler above and smaller spots below; bill dark brown with prominent yellow gape. Feeds mostly on the ground, where it hops and runs. Hammers snails open on a regular ''anvil''. Song a loud string of repeated clear-cut musical phrases, each separated by a brief pause: ''chittychoo chitty-choo, oo-eee oo-eee . . .'' Song perch usually high and conspicuous. Habitat: Forest, scrub, farmland with scattered trees or hedges, orchards, parks and gardens. Breeding: Aug-Feb.

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Southern Black-backed Gull

Maori Name: 
Karoro
Scientific Name: 
Larus dominicanus
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60 cm; male 1050 g,female 850 g. The only large gull in NZ. Languid shallow wingbeats interspersed with long glides separate it from distant skuas and mollymawks.Juvenile dull brown, pale feather edges give a mottled appearance, especially on head, neck and underparts; bill and eye dark brown; legs pinkish brown. In flight, looks dark brown with a paler rump. 2nd year has head, neck and underparts white, mottled and flecked brown; back and upperwings scruffy brown and black; bill dull yellowish or greenish, darker at tip; legs pinkish brown to greyish green. In flight, rump white, mottled brown, tail usually barred brown and white, wings darker towards tips. 3rd year has head and underparts white; neck lightly flecked brown; back and upperwings brown and black, the extent of black depending on the stage of moult; rump and tail white, with black band across tip. Bill dull yellow, darker at tip; legs yellowish green. Adult has head, neck, underparts, rump and tail white, back and upperwings black with narrow white trailing edge; bill yellow with red spot at tip of lower bill; eye pale yellow; legs greenish yellow. Habitat: Breeds circumpolar subantarctic; in NZ region, on coast of mainland, offshore and outlying islands, except only straggles to Kermadecs and The Snares; also breeds far inland on riverbeds, near lakes and alpine tarns. Ranges widely, feeds at rubbish tips, farmland, ploughed fields, beaches, harbours and behind boats, but rarely ventures far out to sea. Breeding: Oct-Feb.

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Spur-winged Plover

Scientific Name: 
Vanellus miles
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38 cm; male 370 g, female 350 g. Conspicuous noisy large plover. Black crown, hindneck andshoulders in front of bend of wing; smooth brown back and wings; white rump andtail tipped black. White underparts; wings have dark trailing edge. Yellowfacial patch, wattlesand bill; legs and feet reddish. Spur on bend of wing usually hidden. Juvenile has small wattles, and feathers on upperparts are narrowly edged black and buff. Flies with slow deliberate beats of rounded wings. Call a loud staccato rattle: ''kerr-kickki-ki-ki''. Habitat: Farmland, rough grassland, wetland margins and estuaries. Breeding: Jun-Dec.

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Starling

Scientific Name: 
Sturnus vulgaris
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21 cm, 85 g. Short-taileddark bird with waddling jerky walk. Breeding adult glossy black with purple sheen on head and breast; dark green sheen and buff spangling on wings and abdomen; pointed yellow bill, bluish base in male, pinkish in female. Nonbreeding head and body spotted buff and white; bill dark. Juvenile smooth greybrown, throat paler; bill dark. Flight fast and direct, often in largeco-ordinated flocks. Distinctlv pointed triangular wings Large winter roosts; flocks converge at dusk and disperse at dawn. Feeds on ground by jabbing bill into soil. Noisy; call a descending whistle: ''cheeoo''; song, a rambling collection of clicks, rattles, warbles and gargles, interspersed with musical whistles. A good mimic. Habitat: Farmland, orchards, parks, gardens, city streets, forest margins and beaches. Breeding: Oct-Jan.

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Stitchbird

Maori Name: 
Hihi
Scientific Name: 
Notiomystis cincta
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18 cm, Male 40 g, Female 30 g. Male has white erectile tufts behind eyes; velvety black head, upper breast and back, bordered golden yellow across breast and folded wings; rest of underparts pale brown. Female greyish brown with white wingbar; lacks ear tufts. Often cocks tail. Call a loud explosive whistle: 'see—si—ip'. Habitat: Forest on a few predator—free islands, especially Little Barrier, Tiritiri Matangi, Kapiti and Mokoia. Breeding: Sep—Apr.

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Tomtit

Maori Name: 
Miromiro, Ngiru-ngiru
Scientific Name: 
Petroica macrocephala
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13 cm, 11 g. Small forest bird with a large head and short tail. Five subspecies vary slightly in size and colour; the most distinctive is the Snares subspecies, which is wholly black but glossier in the male. Adult male (North I) has black head with small white spot above bill; glossy black upperparts and upper breast; white underparts, sharply divided at breast; white wingbar and sides to tail. South, Chatham and Auckland Is subspecies similar, but have underparts yellowish, brighter or orange on upper breast near dividing line. Juvenile males similar, but have white shaft streaks to black feathers and always have white underparts. Adult females (North and South Is) have brown head and upperparts; grey-brown chin and upper breast fading towhite on underparts; wingbar and sides of tail pale buff. Chatham I female similar but darker brown above. Auckland Is female like male but dull black upperparts and upper breast. Feeds in the understorey by perching on branch or trunk, scanning, then flying to ground or tree to catch invertebrates. Male song a loud jingling burst: ''ti oly oly oly oh'', varies regionally. Male call a short high-pitched ''swee; female call a reedy ''seet''. Habitat: Scrub, native and exotic forest and scrub. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Tui

Maori Name: 
Tui
Scientific Name: 
Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae
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30 cm; Male 120 g, Female 90 g. Dark bird with two white throat tufts, or poi. Looks black in dull light, but hasgreen, bluish-puvpleand bronze iridescent sheen, backand flanks dark reddish brown; a lacy collar of filamentous white feathers on neck; white wingbar; slightly decurved black bill and strong black legs. Sexes alike. Juvenile dull slate black with glossy wings and tail, greyish-white throat, lacks tufts. Energetic and acrobatic while feeding in trees on nectar and fruit. In flight, round wings with white shoulder patches; long broad tail; noisy whirring flight between short glides. Song has rich fluid melodic notes (often repeated) mixed with coughs, clicks, grunts and wheezes; varies regionally. Habitat: Native forest and scrub, farmland with kowhai, gums and flax, parks and gardens. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Weka

Maori Name: 
Weka
Scientific Name: 
Gallirallus australis
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53 cm; Male 1000 g, Female 700 g. Flightess. Brown, streaked black. Sturdy short bill and legs. The4 subspecies are separated by plumage colour. RareNorth I Weka is greyer below and has brown legs; Buff Weka, introduced to Chatham Is, is the palest; Western Weka (Nelson to Fiordland) is noticeably chestnut, except in Fiordland, where a dark form is common; Stewart I Weka is the smallest and also has a dark form, but paler than Western Weka. Sometimes very inquisitive. Walks quietly, flicking leaves aside with bill in search of food. Runs fast, neck outstretched. Territorial call a loud repeated ''coo-eet'', rising in pitch. Habitat: Forests, scrub and open country with good cover. Breeding: Aug-Feb.

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