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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