The stitchbird or hihi (Notiomystis cincta) is a rare honeyeater-like bird endemic to the North Island and adjacent offshore islands of New Zealand. It became extirpated everywhere except Little Barrier Island but has been reintroduced to three other island sanctuaries and two locations on the North Island mainland. Its evolutionary relationships have long puzzled ornithologists, but it is now classed as the only member of its own family, the Notiomystidae.
|Female in typical 'tail cocked' stance.|
Driskell et al., 2007
(Du Bus, 1839)
|Islands and sanctuaries where stitchbirds are present|
The stitchbird was originally described as a member of the primarily Australian and New Guinean honeyeater family Meliphagidae. It had remained classified as such until recently. Genetic analysis shows that it is not closely related to the honeyeaters and their allies and that its closest living relatives are within the endemic New Zealand Callaeidae. In 2007 a new passerine family was erected to contain the stitchbird, the Notiomystidae.
The stitchbird is a small honeyeater-like bird. Males have a dark velvety cap and short white ear-tufts, which can be raised somewhat away from the head. A yellow band across the chest separates the black head from the rest of the body, which is grey. Females and juveniles are duller than males, lacking the black head and yellow chest band. The bill is rather thin and somewhat curved, and the tongue is long with a brush at the end for collecting nectar. Thin whiskers project out and slightly forward from the base of the bill.
Stitchbirds are very active and call frequently. Their most common call, a tzit tzit sound, is believed to be the source of their common name, as Buller noted that it "has a fanciful resemblance to the word stitch". They also have a high-pitched whistle and an alarm call which is a nasal pek like a bellbird. Males give a piercing three-note whistle (often heard in spring) and a variety of other calls not given by the female.
Research has suggested that they face interspecific competition from the tui and New Zealand bellbird, and will feed from lower-quality food sources when these species are present. The stitchbird rarely lands on the ground and seldom visits flowers on the large canopy trees favoured by the tui and bellbird (this may simply be because of the competition from the more aggressive, larger birds).
Their main food is nectar, but the stitchbird's diet covers over twenty species of native flowers and thirty species of fruit and many species of introduced plants. Important natural nectar sources are haekaro, matata, puriri, rata and toropapa. Preferred fruits include Coprosma species, five finger, pate, tree fuchsia and raukawa.
The stitchbird also supplements its diet with small insects.
The stitchbird nests in holes high up in old trees. They are the only bird species that mates face to face, in comparison to the more conventional copulation style for birds where the male mounts the female's back.
The stitchbird was relatively common in the pre-European colonisation of New Zealand, and began to decline relatively quickly afterwards, being extinct on the mainland and many offshore islands by 1885. The last sighting on the mainland was in the Tararua Range in the 1880s. The exact cause of the decline is unknown, but is thought to be pressure from introduced species, especially black rats, and introduced avian diseases. Only a small population on Little Barrier Island survived. Starting in the 1980s the New Zealand Wildlife Service (now Department of Conservation) translocated numbers of individuals from Hauturu to other island sanctuaries to create separate populations. These islands were part of New Zealand's network of offshore reserves which have been cleared of introduced species and which protect other rare species including the kakapo and takahe.
The world population is unknown; estimates for the size of the remnant population on Hauturu (Little Barrier Island) range from 600 and 6000 adult birds. There are also translocated populations on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Kapiti Island, Zealandia, Maungatautari and the Waitakere Ranges. Attempts to establish populations on Hen Island, Cuvier Island and Mokoia Island failed. There is also a captive population at Mount Bruce. The Tiritiri Matangi population is growing slowly but more than half the chicks that hatch there die of starvation due to the lack of mature forest, most of the island having been revegetated only since 1984–1994. Only the Little Barrier Island population is thought to be stable as of 2007. This species is classified as Vulnerable (D2) by the IUCN because of its very small range and population.
In 2005, 60 stitchbirds were released into Zealandia (wildlife sanctuary) near Wellington and in October that year, three stitchbird chicks hatched there, the first time for more than 120 years that a stitchbird chick had been born on mainland New Zealand. The hatchings were described as a significant conservation milestone by sanctuary staff who were hoping further chicks would be born there .
In (local) autumn 2007, 59 adult birds from the Tiritiri Matangi population were released in Cascade Kauri Park, in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland and by the end of the year the first chicks had fledged there.
The year 2005 in science and technology involved some significant events.Ark in the Park (conservation project)
Ark in the Park is an open sanctuary and conservation project in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland.It is a partnership between Forest & Bird and Auckland Council that is supported by Te Kawerau ā Maki that aims to remove non-native pest mammals and predators and re-introduce species that were made extinct in the area.The project was started in 2002 by a small group of volunteers. A pilot programme covering 200 hectares was launched in 2003 which saw bait lines spaced 100m apart through the forest, with bait stations every 50m. By 2019, the project covered 2,270 hectares.Assisted colonization
Assisted colonization (sometimes referred to as assisted migration or managed relocation) is the act of moving plants or animals to a different habitat. The destination habitat may or may not have once previously held the species; the only requirement is the destination habitat must provide the bioclimatic requirements to support the species. The goal of assisted colonization is to remove the species from a threatening environment and give them a chance to survive and reproduce in an environment that does not pose an existential threat to the species. In recent years, assisted colonization has been presented as a potential solution to the climate change epidemic that has changed environments faster than natural selection can adapt to. While assisted colonization has the potential to allow species that have poor natural dispersal abilities to avoid extinction, it has also sparked intense debate over the possibility of the introduction of invasive species and diseases into previously healthy ecosystems. Despite these debates, scientists and land managers have already begun the process of assisted colonization for certain species.Callaeidae
Callaeidae (sometimes Callaeatidae) is a family of passerine birds endemic to New Zealand. It contains three genera, with five species in the family. One, the huia, became extinct early in the 20th century, while the South Island kokako is critically endangered and may be extinct.
Although sometimes known as wattled crows, they are not corvids and are only distantly related to crows - New Zealand wattlebirds is the informal name for this family used by the scientific community.Coprosma rhamnoides
Coprosma rhamnoides, also known as twiggy coprosma or red-currant coprosma is an endemic shrub in New Zealand. It forms a small shrub up to 2 m tall. The leaves are very small, simple and variable in shape. The inconspicuous flowers are unisexual and believed to be wind pollinated. It is widespread in occurrence and can be the dominant small leaved divaricating shrub in some locationsHandbook of the Birds of the World
The Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) is a multi-volume series produced by the Spanish publishing house Lynx Edicions in partnership with BirdLife International. It is the first handbook to cover every known living species of bird. The series is edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal and David A. Christie.
All 16 volumes have been published. For the first time an animal class will have all the species illustrated and treated in detail in a single work. This has not been done before for any other group in the animal kingdom.
Material in each volume is grouped first by family, with an introductory article on each family; this is followed by individual species accounts (taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, food and feeding, breeding, movements, status and conservation, bibliography). In addition, all volumes except the first and second contain an essay on a particular ornithological theme. More than 200 renowned specialists and 35 illustrators (including Toni Llobet, Hilary Burn, Chris Rose and H. Douglas Pratt) from more than 40 countries have contributed to the project up to now, as well as 834 photographers from all over the world.
Since the first volume appeared in 1992, the series has received various international awards. The first volume was selected as Bird Book of the Year by the magazines Birdwatch and British Birds, and the fifth volume was recognised as Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine, the American Library Association magazine. The seventh volume, as well as being named Bird Book of the Year by Birdwatch and British Birds, also received the distinction of Best Bird Reference Book in the 2002 WorldTwitch Book Awards This same distinction was also awarded to Volume 8 a year later in 2003.Individual volumes are large, measuring 32 by 25 centimetres (12.6 by 9.8 in), and weighing between 4 and 4.6 kilograms (8.8 and 10.1 lb); it has been commented in a review that "fork-lift truck book" would be a more appropriate title.
As a complement to the Handbook of the Birds of the World and with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna, in 2002 Lynx Edicions started the Internet Bird Collection (IBC). It is a free-access, but not free-licensed, on-line audiovisual library of the world's birds with the aim of posting videos, photos and sound recordings showing a variety of biological aspects (e.g. subspecies, plumages, feeding, breeding, etc.) for every species. It is a non-profit endeavour fuelled by material from more than one hundred contributors from around the world.
In early 2013, Lynx Edicions launched the online database HBW Alive, which includes the volume and family introductions and updated species accounts from all 17 published HBW volumes. Since its launch, the taxonomy has been thoroughly revised and updated twice (once for non-passerines and once for passerines), following the publication of the two volumes of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
The Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive site also provides a free access 'Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology'.Hihi (disambiguation)
A hihi or stitchbird is a species of bird from the North Island of New Zealand.
Hihi, HiHi, Hi Hi, or Hi-Hi may also refer to:
Hihi, New Zealand, a community in Northland, New Zealand, named after the bird
"Hi Hi" (Puffy AmiYumi), a 2004 single by the Japanese pop rock duo Puffy AmiYumi
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, a Japanese-American animated television series
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (album), a 2004 compilation album
Hi-Hi, a Japanese comedy duoHoneyeater
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family, Meliphagidae, of small to medium-sized birds. The family includes the Australian chats, myzomelas, friarbirds, wattlebirds, miners and melidectes. They are most common in Australia and New Guinea, but also found in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Samoa and Tonga, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species.In total there are 187 species in 50 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. With their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian fairy-wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes), and Acanthizidae (thornbills, Australian warblers, scrubwrens, etc.), they comprise the superfamily Meliphagoidea and originated early in the evolutionary history of the oscine passerine radiation. Although honeyeaters look and behave very much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the world (such as the sunbirds and flowerpeckers), they are unrelated, and the similarities are the consequence of convergent evolution.
The extent of the evolutionary partnership between honeyeaters and Australasian flowering plants is unknown, but probably substantial. A great many Australian plants are fertilised by honeyeaters, particularly the Proteaceae, Myrtaceae, and Epacridaceae. It is known that the honeyeaters are important in New Zealand as well, and assumed that the same applies in other areas.Huia
The huia (Māori: [ˈhʉiˌa]; Heteralocha acutirostris) is an extinct species of New Zealand wattlebird, endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. The last confirmed sighting of a huia was in 1907, although there were credible sightings as late as the early 1960s.
Its extinction had two primary causes. The first was rampant overhunting to procure huia skins for mounted specimens and their tail feathers for hat decorations. The second major cause was the widespread deforestation of the lowlands of the North Island by European settlers to create pasture for agriculture. Most of these forests were ancient, ecologically complex primary forests, and huia were unable to survive in regenerating secondary forests.
It was already a rare bird before the arrival of Europeans, confined to the Ruahine, Tararua, Rimutaka and Kaimanawa mountain ranges in the south-east of the North Island. It was remarkable for having the most pronounced sexual dimorphism in bill shape of any bird species in the world. The female's beak was long, thin and arched downward, while the male's was short and stout, like that of a crow. Males were 45 cm (18 in) long, while females were larger at 48 cm (19 in). The sexes were otherwise similar, with orange wattles and predominantly black plumage with a green sheen. The huia was a bird of deep metallic, bluish-black plumage with a greenish iridescence on the upper surface, especially about the head. The tail feathers were unique among endemic birds in having a broad white band across the tips.
The birds lived in forests at both montane and lowland elevations – they are thought to have moved seasonally, living at higher elevation in summer and descending to lower elevation in winter. Huia were omnivorous and ate adult insects, grubs and spiders, as well as the fruits of a small number of native plants. Males and females used their beaks to feed in different ways: the male used his bill to chisel away at rotting wood, while the female's longer, more flexible bill was able to probe deeper areas. Even though the huia is frequently mentioned in biology and ornithology textbooks because of this striking dimorphism, not much is known about its biology; it was little studied before it was driven to extinction.
The huia is one of New Zealand's best-known extinct birds because of its bill shape, its sheer beauty and special place in Māori culture and oral tradition. The bird was regarded by Māori as tapu (sacred), and the wearing of its skin or feathers was reserved for people of high status.Kapiti Island
Kapiti Island is an island about 5 km (3 mi) off the west coast of the lower North Island of New Zealand. It is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, running southwest/northeast, and roughly 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide, being more or less rectangular in shape, and has an area of 19.65 km2 (7.59 sq mi).
The island is separated from the North Island by the Rauoterangi channel. The highest point on the island is Tuteremoana, 521 m (1,709 ft). The seaward (west) side of the island is particularly rocky and has high cliffs, some hundreds of metres high, that drop straight into the sea. The cliffs are subject to very strong prevailing westerly winds and the scrubby vegetation that grows there is low and stunted by the harsh environmental conditions. A cross-section of the island would show almost a right-angled triangle, revealing its origins from lying on a fault line (part of the same ridge as the Tararua Range).
The island's vegetation is dominated by scrub and forest of kohekohe, tawa, and kanuka. Most of the forest is regenerating after years of burn-offs and farming, but some areas of original bush with 30 m (98 ft) trees remain.
Its name has been used since 1989 by the Kapiti Coast District Council, which includes towns such as Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae.Kōkako
The kōkako make up two species of endangered forest birds which are endemic to New Zealand, the North Island kōkako (Callaeas wilsoni) and the presumably extinct (recently data deficient) South Island kōkako (Callaeas cinereus). They are both slate-grey with wattles and have black masks. They belong to a genus containing five known species of New Zealand wattlebird, the other three being two species of tieke (saddleback) and the extinct huia. Previously widespread, kōkako populations throughout New Zealand have been decimated by the predations of mammalian invasive species such as possums, stoats, cats and rats, and their range has contracted significantly. In the past this bird was called the New Zealand crow: it is not a crow at all, but it looks like one from a distance.
The spelling kokako (without a macron) is common in New Zealand English.Lake Rotokare
Lake Rotokare is a landslide dammed lake in the New Zealand region of Taranaki. It is located 12 km (7.5 mi) east of Eltham.The 230 ha (570 acres) Scenic Reserve, in the Tangahoe catchment, is the country's largest wetland and lake habitat inside a predator proof fence. It is administered by South Taranaki District Council and Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust. Species in the Reserve include raupo, flax, purei, makura, pukatea, kahikatea, coprosma, swamp maire, water millet, jointed baumea, Australasian bittern, spotless crake, fernbird, gold striped gecko, banded kokopu, koura, and short and long-finned eel.Lake Rotokare should not be confused with Barrett Lagoon near New Plymouth, which has the alternative Māori language name of Rotokare.List of birds
This page lists living orders and families of birds. The links below should then lead to family accounts and hence to individual species.
The passerines (perching birds) alone account for well over 5000 species. In total there are about 10,000 species of birds described worldwide, though one estimate of the real number places it at almost twice that.
Taxonomy is very fluid in the age of DNA analysis, so comments are made where appropriate, and all numbers are approximate. In particular see Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy for a very different classification.List of birds of New Zealand
In this list of New Zealand birds, Māori names are given first, followed by English alternatives. In some cases the Māori name is the common name (e.g. tui, kākā, weka, pūkeko, moa, kiwi, kea, kōkako, takahē); in other cases the English name is most commonly used (e.g. fantail, albatross, black-backed gull, bellbird, morepork, dotterel, wax-eye, oystercatcher).
This list's taxonomic treatment and nomenclature (common and scientific names) mainly follows the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2016 edition. Some supplemental referencing is that of the Avibase Bird Checklists of the World as of January 2017.
The species and subspecies marked extinct became extinct subsequent to humans' arrival in New Zealand. About two thirds of the extinctions occurred after the arrival of Māori but before the arrival of Pākehā and the rest since Pākehā arrived.
Unless otherwise noted, all species listed below are considered to occur regularly in New Zealand as permanent residents, summer or winter visitors, or migrants. The following codes are used to denote other categories of species:
(B) Breeding - confirmed nesting records in New Zealand or a portion thereof.
(I) Introduced - a species introduced to New Zealand by the actions of humans, either directly or indirectly
(X) Extinct - a species that no longer exists
(ex) Extirpated - a species no longer found in New Zealand or a portion thereof but existing elsewhere
(P) - a regularly occurring in New Zealand or a portion thereof. The species occurs on an annual or mostly annual basis, but does not nest in New Zealand.
(V) Vagrant - a species rarely occurring in New Zealand or a portion thereof.
(*) following taxonomic name: (unexplained)The Checklist of the birds of New Zealand, published in 2010 by Te Papa Press, in association with the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, is an authoritative list of New Zealand birds.List of endemic birds of New Zealand
Many of New Zealand's birds are endemic to the country, that is, they are not found in any other country. Endemic species differ from native or indigenous species in that native or indigenous species have generally and historically, migrated to a region or country and become established over a long period of time, whereas endemic species, have only ever inhabited the region or country where they were first discovered. Approximately 71% of the bird species breeding in New Zealand before humans arrived are widely accepted as being endemic.Population status symbols are those of the Red List published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The symbols and their meanings, in increasing order of peril, are:
LC = least concern
NT = near threatened
VU = vulnerable
EN = endangered
CR = critically endangered
EX = extinctPasserine
A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less accurately – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching, amongst other features specific to their evolutionary history in Australaves.
With more than 110 families and some 6,409 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided
into three clades, Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines) and Passeri (oscine).The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.
The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.Saddleback (bird)
The saddlebacks or tieke are two species of New Zealand bird of the family Callaeidae. Both are glossy black with a chestnut saddle. Its taxonomic family is also known as that of the (New Zealand) "wattlebirds" and includes the two subspecies of the kōkako (the extant North Island kokako monitored on island sanctuaries, and the extinct South Island kokako) as well as the extinct huia. All members of this family have coloured fleshy appendages on either side of the beak known as "wattles". In the case of the saddlebacks, they are a vivid red in colour.Songbird
A songbird is a bird belonging to the clade Passeri of the perching birds (Passeriformes). Another name that is sometimes seen as a scientific or vernacular name is Oscines, from Latin oscen, "a songbird". This group contains 5000 or so species found all over the world, in which the vocal organ typically is developed in such a way as to produce a diverse and elaborate bird song.
Songbirds form one of the two major lineages of extant perching birds, the other being the Tyranni, which are most diverse in the Neotropics and absent from many parts of the world. The Tyranni have a simpler syrinx musculature, and while their vocalizations are often just as complex and striking as those of songbirds, they are altogether more mechanical sounding. There is a third perching bird lineage, the Acanthisitti from New Zealand, of which only two species remain alive today.
Some evidence suggests that songbirds evolved 50 million years ago in the part of Gondwana that later became India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Antarctica, before spreading around the world.Tiritiri Matangi Island
Tiritiri Matangi Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, 3.4 km (2.1 mi) east of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in the North Island and 30 km (19 mi) north east of Auckland. The 2.2 km2 (1 sq mi) island is an open nature reserve managed by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Incorporated, under the supervision of the Department of Conservation and is noted for its bird life, including takahē, North Island kōkako and kiwi. It attracts between 30,000 and 32,000 visitors a year, the latter figure being the maximum allowed by the Auckland Conservation Management Strategy.The name, Māori for "tossed by the wind", is often popularly shortened to Tiritiri. Māori mythology considers the island to be a float of an ancestral fishing net.