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Welcome Swallow

Scientific Name: 
Hirundo tahitica
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15 cm, 14 g. Adult has head and back blue-black; forehead, throat and chest rufous; underparts dull white; deeplyforked tail with a row of white spots near the tip. Juvenile duller on upperparts paler rufous markings, and tail less deeply forked. Often in swirling groups low over open water or crops, or sit on wires like clothes pegs. Habitat: Open country, especially near water. Often builds cup-shaped mud nest under bridges and under eaves of houses. Breeding: Aug-Mar.

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White-faced Heron

Scientific Name: 
Ardea novaehollandiae
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67 cm, 550 g. Slim bluish-grey heron with whiteface, chin and upper throat; bill black, legs greenish yellow. Strap-shaped plumes, more prominent in the breeding season, are long and pale grey on the back and short and pinkish brown on the chest. Juvenile like adult but lacks plumes and the white face is reduced, often white chin only. Flight slow, often high, with steady beats of 2-toned wings. Habitat: Occupies a wide variety of habitats from coastal estuaries and lagoons to rivers, lakes and farmland. Nests in solitary pairs high in trees, especially eucalypts and shelterbelt pines on farmland. Breeding: Jun-Feb.

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Whitehead

Maori Name: 
Popokatea
Scientific Name: 
Mohoua albicilla
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15 cm; Male 18.5 g, Female 14.5 g. Male has white head and underparts, with contrasting black bill, eye and legs; upperparts pale brown. Female and immature similar, but crown and nape shaded brown. Usually in small fast-moving noisy feeding flocks or family groups, high in canopy, uttering harsh chattering calls, trills and slurs. Male song can be clear and Canary-like: ''peek-o, peek-o, peek-o''. Habitat: Native and exotic forest, and scrub of North I. Breeding: Sep-Jan.

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Yellow-crowned Parakeet

Maori Name: 
Kakariki
Scientific Name: 
Cyanoramphus auriceps
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Male 25 cm, 50g Female 23 cm, 40 g. Long-tailed bright yellow-green parrot of native forest. Crown golden~ yellow; forehead and band from bill to eye red, and small patch on sides of rump crimson; violet-blue on wing coverts and some outer flight feathers. Orange fronted colour phase is plainer green, lacking yellow; forehead and band from bill to eye orange. Flight fast and direct, with rapid wingbeats. Flight call a rapid highpitched chatter. Habitat: Native forests; rare orange-fronted phase is seen mostly in North Canterbury. Breeding: Oct-Feb.

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Yellowhammer

Scientific Name: 
Emberiza citrinella
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16 cm, 27 g. Sparrow-sized mainly yellow bird of open country with reddish-brown upperparts, streaked darker; rufous rump and white outer tail feathers. Adult male has bright yellow head and underparts, head lightly marked brown on crown and on sides of face; cinnamon wash across breast, and pale yellow flanks. Adult female duller and paler yellow, more heavily marked brown on head, and breast band greyish green. Juvenile and immature even paler yellow or pale buff, heavily streaked, but still with rufous rump. Hops on ground when feeding, often with crouched posture. Outside breeding season, often form flocks on weed-infested crops and where hay has been scattered. Male song is rendered ''little bit of bread and no cheese''. Call a ringing metallic ''tink'', or ''twick''. Habitat: Open country from sea level to subalpine, especially arable farmland or rough pasture with scattered scrub. Breeding: Oct-Mar.

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