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Piwakawaka and other obliging Non-Kiwi Kiwis

Proper Kiwi birds are nearly impossible to take photos of.  Mainly because most kiwi birds are nocturnal and using flash is rude, but also because they’re hard to see in their environment, rummaging around in the deep ferny forest floor.  And anyway they’re terribly difficult to find at all.

But there are other, non-Kiwi birds who are not so shy.

Piwakawaka is the exuberant Maori name for the Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa), a common native bird in New Zealand bush (areas forested with native trees and plants).  This is one cheeky chicky: they’ll flit right up and swoop in to capture any bugs that may be hanging out around you as you hike, sometimes following for quite a distance down the trail, sometimes nearly — but not quite — landing on you.

A couple of other birds do the same thing: the engaging Miromiro (Tomtit, Petroica macrocephala), the more reserved Toutouwai (New Zealand Robin, Petroica australis), so they are relatively easily photographed.  (These last two birds, the NZ Robin and the Tomtit are endemic to NZ, occurring nowhere else, while the Fantail also lives in Australia).

Top to bottom, here are photos of Piwakawaka (Fantail), an immature Miromiro (Tomtit), and Toutouwai (NZ Robin) (Photos by A. Shock).

Posted by Allison on May 2nd 2009 09:44 pm | No Comments yet
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