Stitchbird (Hihi)


Habitat

Stitchbirds are nimble fliers and prefer the forest particularly in the mid and upper canopy where they can easily get the nector they prefer to eat. Unfortunately they are only found on a few offshore islands and behind predator proof fences on the mainland at Zealandia and Cascade Kauri Park.


Identification

The males have black heads with little tafts of white feathers near the eyes and a yellow streak around the breast with the rest of the body being a mottled grey colour. Females on the other hand lack the black head and the yellow streak is much less defined. Beaks are thin, medium length to help with getting nectar from deep flowers.


Links

Wikipedia, Dept of conservation, NZBirds.com, TeAra Encyclopedia


Summary

Stitchbirds are endangered and survive only on a few offshore islands and behind predator proof fences on the mainland at Zealandia (formerly Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) and Cascade Kauri Park in the Waitakere Ranges. The estimated numbers left in the world is thought to be somewhere between 500-1000 adult birds although there is some reason for hope that they are returning from the brink. They are very active fliers although their small size means they avoid bossy larger birds such as Tuis. Predominantly nectar feeders they will however take small insects on the wing.


Stitchbird
Stitchbird waits on a branch


Stitchbird
Male Stitchbird taken on Kapiti Island


Male Stitchbird
Male Stitchbird


Male Stitchbird
Male Stitchbird taken on Kapiti Island


Female Stitchbird
Female stitchbird




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