Grey warbler

The grey warbler (Gerygone igata), also known by its Māori name riroriro[2] or outside New Zealand as the grey gerygone, is an insectivorous bird in the family Acanthizidae endemic to New Zealand. Its natural habitat is temperate forests. It is sometimes known as the teetotum or rainbird.[3]

Grey warbler
Grey Gerygone - Pureora Forest Park, New Zealand
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Acanthizidae
Genus: Gerygone
G. igata
Binomial name
Gerygone igata
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1830)
  • Gerygone flaviventris Gray 1844
  • Gerygone assimilis Buller 1865


One of the smallest birds found in New Zealand, grey warblers are about 11 centimeters long, with a weight of up to 6.5 grams.[3] It has grey-brown plumage (with a slight olive-green tint), with the face, throat and breast being pale-grey. The abdomen is off-white with a slight yellow tinge. The tail is white underneath and dark brown on top with white tips being visible in flight. They also have a distinctive ruby-red eye. Females are typically smaller than the male, but otherwise there is little sexual dimorphism. The young are paler with no hint of yellow and have brown eyes.


The male's song often starts with a series of three squeaks and builds into a distinctive long plaintive wavering trill that rises and falls. They sing throughout the year but most vigorously when nesting, during spring. Grey warblers are often heard more than they are seen.

Distribution and habitat

Grey warblers are common throughout New Zealand's main islands and many off-shore islands, but are absent from open country and alpine areas. At home in native and exotic forests it may be found almost anywhere there is some tree or shrub cover.[4]



Grey warblers mainly feed upon spiders, insects and their larvae. They are very active, and almost never stay still as they move from one perch to another.


Illustrations of grey warbler nests (1888).
Juvenile Grey Warbler
Juvenile grey warbler

Grey warblers are unique among New Zealand birds in building a pear-shaped nest with a side entrance near the top. The male collects nesting material, but the female builds the nest from grass, leaves, rootlets and moss, held together with spider web threads, anywhere from 2 to 25 feet above the ground, lined with feathers and other soft material. It is attached to a twig at the top, but is often also secured at the back or sides. The male is not involved in nest building or incubation, but helps to feed nestlings and fledglings. The 3 to 6 eggs, each laid 2 days apart, are pinkish-white with fine reddish-brown speckles all over. The eggs, weighing 1.5 grams are about 17 millimetres long and 12 millimetres wide. Incubation takes about 19 days and the chicks spend another 15 to 19 days in the nest.

Their breeding season is from August to January and they usually manage two clutches. The shining bronze cuckoo, a brood parasite, often targets the second clutch.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Gerygone igata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ TPH 7/7/1905 p3
  3. ^ a b Grey warbler - New Zealand Birds Online
  4. ^ Atlas Of Bird Distribution In New Zealand 1999–2004 - Ornithological Society of New Zealand
  5. ^ Davies, Nick (2010). Cuckoos, Cowbirds and Other Cheats. A&C Black. p. 94. ISBN 1408135868.
Black-throated gray warbler

The black-throated gray warbler or black-throated grey warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) is a passerine bird of the New World warbler family Parulidae. It is 13 cm (5.1 in) long and has gray and white plumage with black markings. The male has the bold black throat of its name, and black stripes on its head, as well as black streaks on its flanks; the female is a paler version of the male, with a white throat and less distinct black markings on the flanks and wings. It breeds in western North America from British Columbia to New Mexico, and winters in Mexico and the southwestern United States. The habitats it prefers are coniferous and mixed forests and scrubland, especially those with pinyon pines, junipers, sagebrush, and oaks. Its nest is an open cup of plant fibers lined with feathers, built a few metres from the ground in the branches of a tree or shrub. Three to five eggs are laid, and young are fed by both parents. Common in its breeding range, it does not seem to be seriously threatened by human activities, unlike many migratory warblers.

Bénoué National Park

Bénoué National Park is a national park of Cameroon and a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. It is 180,000 ha (440,000 acres) in size. The park has a wide frontage to the Bénoué River, which stretches for over 100 km (62 mi), forming the eastern boundary. The public road to Tcholliré cuts across the northern part of the park. The western boundary is made up of the main road linking the towns of Garoua to the north, with Ngaoundéré to the south. The park can be accessed coming north from Ngaoundéré.

Chatham gerygone

The Chatham gerygone or Chatham Island warbler (Gerygone albofrontata) is a species of bird in the family Acanthizidae. It is endemic to the Chatham Islands and thus not found on the mainland, where its relative, the endemic grey warbler (Gerygone igata), is found. The Chatham Island warbler is larger and sports different plumage for the male, female and juvenile birds. Both warblers were discovered and named by G. R. Gray in 1845. The grey and Chatham Island warblers are the only two members of the Australasian family Acanthizidae found in New Zealand.


The Cisticolidae family of small passerine birds is a group of about 160 warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They were formerly included within the Old World warbler family Sylviidae.

This family probably originated in Africa, which has the majority of species, but there are representatives of the family across tropical Asia into Australasia, and one species, the zitting cisticola, even breeds in Europe.

These are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. They are often difficult to see and many species are similar in appearance, so the song is often the best identification guide. These are insectivorous birds which nest low in vegetation.

Green warbler-finch

The green warbler-finch (Certhidea olivacea) is a species of bird, one of Darwin's finches in the tanager family Thraupidae. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family.

When Darwin collected it in 1835 during the Beagle survey expedition he mistakenly thought it was a wren, but on return to England he was informed in March 1837 by the ornithologist John Gould that the bird was in the group of finches.It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

This species is closely related to the grey warbler-finch, and were formerly considered conspecfic, but both species differ in appearance, distribution, habitat, and song. The green warbler-finch consists of only one subspecies, the nominate olivacea, from Santiago, Rábida, Pinzón, Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz. Green warbler-finches have a greenish coloration to blend into their lusher semihumid forest habitats, as well as distinctive reddish throat patches on breeding males.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

Grey warbler-finch

The grey warbler-finch (Certhidea fusca) is a species of bird, one of Darwin's finches in the tanager family Thraupidae. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family.

It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

This species is closely related to the green warbler-finch, and were formerly considered conspecific, but both species differed in appearance, distribution, habitat, and song. The nominate subspecies is from Pinta and Marchena, becki from Darwin and Wolf, mentalis from Genovesa, bifasciata from Santa Fé, cinerascens from Española, luteola from San Cristóbal, and ridgwayi from Floreana. Grey warbler-finches are found mostly in the shrubland and dry forest of smaller drier islands, and have a suitable coloration for their habitat.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

John Kirk Townsend

John Kirk Townsend (August 10, 1809 – February 6, 1851) was an American naturalist, ornithologist and collector.

Townsend was a Quaker born in Philadelphia, the son of Charles Townsend and Priscilla Kirk. He attended Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was trained as a physician and pharmacist. He developed an interest in natural history in general and bird collecting in particular. In 1833, he was invited by the botanist Thomas Nuttall to join him on Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth's second expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Townsend collected a number of animals new to science. These included birds such as the mountain plover, Vaux's swift, chestnut-collared longspur, black-throated grey warbler, Townsend's warbler and sage thrasher, and a number of mammals such as the Douglas squirrel; several of these were described by Bachman (1839) from samples collected by Townsend.

List of endemic birds of the Galápagos Islands

This article is one of a series providing information about endemism among birds in the world's various zoogeographic zones. For an overview of this subject see Endemism in birds.

Moore's Bush Reserve

Moore's Bush Reserve, also known as Moore's Bush, is a small reserve in the suburb of Leith Valley in Dunedin.This 4-hectare reserve is a combination of remnant native forest and a former dairy farm that has been replanted with native species.A number of small streams, including the Leith, run through the reserve.

Mount Peel

Mount Peel is a mountain located in South Canterbury, New Zealand. It consists of three peaks, Mount Peel (often referred to as Big Mt Peel), Middle Mt Peel (1,583 metres or 5,194 feet) and Little Mt Peel/Huatekerekere (1,311 metres or 4,301 feet). Mt Peel is 1,743 metres (5,719 ft) tall and is owned by the Department of Conservation and Mt Peel Station. It lies just south of the Rangitata river and is 22 kilometres (14 mi) north-west of Geraldine.

The Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is the largest in the Geraldine area, covering 769 hectares (1,900 acres) around Little Mt Peel/Huatekerekere.

Murchison Mountains

The Murchison Mountains are a group of mountains in Fiordland National Park in New Zealand. It is the location where the takahē, a type of bird presumed extinct, was rediscovered in 1948. The highest mountain is Mount Lyall at 1,892 metres (6,207 ft).

New World warbler

The New World warblers or wood-warblers are a group of small, often colorful, passerine birds which make up the family Parulidae and are restricted to the New World. They are not closely related to Old World warblers or to Australian warblers. Most are arboreal, but some, like the ovenbird and the two waterthrushes, are primarily terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.

It is likely that this group originated in northern Central America, where the greatest number of species and diversity between them is found. From there they spread north during the interglacial periods, mainly as migrants, returning to the ancestral region in winter. Two genera, Myioborus and Basileuterus, seem to have colonized South America early, perhaps before the two continents were linked, and together constitute most warbler species of that region.

The scientific name for the family, Parulidae, originates from the fact that Linnaeus in 1758 named the northern parula as a tit, Parus americanus, and, as taxonomy developed, the genus name was modified first to Parulus and then to Parula. The family name derives from the name for the genus.

Otari-Wilton's Bush

Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve (Otari-Wilton's Bush) is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants. It is located in Wellington's suburb of Wilton.

Port Hills

The Port Hills are a range of hills in Canterbury, New Zealand, so named because they lie between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton. They are an eroded remnant of the Lyttelton volcano, which erupted millions of years ago.The hills start at Godley Head, run approximately east–west along the northern side of Lyttelton Harbour, and continue running to the south, dividing the city from the harbour. The range terminates near Gebbies Pass above the head of the harbour. The range includes a number of summits between 300 and 500 metres above sea level. The range is of significant geological, environmental and scenic importance.

Red-winged grey warbler

The red-winged grey warbler (Drymocichla incana) is a species of bird in the Cisticolidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Drymocichla.

It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Its natural habitats are moist savanna and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.


Setophaga is a genus of birds of the New World warbler family Parulidae. It contains at least 33 species. The males in breeding plumage are often highly colorful. The Setophaga warblers are an example of adaptive radiation with the various species using different feeding techniques and often feeding in different parts of the same tree.

Most Setophaga species are long-range migrants, wintering in or near the New World tropics and seasonally migrating to breed in North America. In contrast, two Setophaga species, the palm warbler and yellow-rumped warbler, have winter ranges that extend along the Atlantic coast of North America as far north as Nova Scotia.

Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui National Park is a national park located in the North Island of New Zealand. Established in 1986, it covers an area of 742 km² bordering the Whanganui River. It incorporates areas of Crown land, former state forest and a number of former reserves. The river itself is not part of the park.


Wingatui is a small settlement almost 15 kilometres west of Dunedin, and two kilometres east of Mosgiel. It has become a suburb of Mosgiel, but continues to maintain its own unique identity and heritage.

Known primarily for the historic Wingatui railway station and for the Wingatui Racecourse, Wingatui is home to an increasing population of nearly 1,557 people, according to the 2013 census. Wingatui enjoys a low unemployent rate and generally high level of income compared with Dunedin generally.

Wingatui is one of the principal stops on the Taieri Gorge Railway, and is also the entrance point to the currently defunct Chain Hills Tunnel single track rail tunnel, which links Wingatui with the Dunedin suburb of Abbotsford to the east. Construction of the railway at Wingatui began in 1879. Local action groups are working with the Dunedin City Council in assessing the possibility of refurbishing and re-opening the disused tunnel to cycle and pedestrian traffic.Wingatui is home to several lifestyle blocks, the owners of many of which keep horses and are associated with the horse racing industry. On race days, trains from Dunedin are known to carry several hundred racegoers through to Wingatui railway station for races.

endemic birds


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.