Friday, November 1, 2013

New Zealand Fantail

New Zealand Fantails are Old World Flycatchers that occur in two morphs, a pied morph such as in this photograph, and one that is black. Erika and I photographed this fantail in 1990 at Arthur’s Pass in New Zealand’s South Island.  Here 75 to 88% of the birds are pied. On New Zealand’s North Island, 99% of the birds are pied. This bird’s buffy eye stripe indicates that it is young.

New Zealand Fantails are widespread and occur in both native habitats and in parks, farmland, and pine plantations. They eat arthropods, most often flycatching, and occasionally seeds. Often they follow other birds, and also feed near livestock or humans. These small, tail-swishing birds are threatened by introduced species such as cats, possums, and mynas—furthermore they are often roadkill (Handbook of Birds of the World—Alive).

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