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Passeriformes > Locustellidae

New Zealand Fernbird

Poodytes punctatus

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Identification

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Small passerine endemic to New Zealand. Shows extensive brown streaking above with paler coloration underneath. Distinctive long tail has a frayed look. Both sexes and juveniles alike. Patchily distributed across North, South, Stewart, and Snares Islands in wetland habitat, often where vegetation is thick. Can occur in shrubland and tussock grassland. Cryptic bird, heard more often than seen. Gives a sharp “tchip” call and a metallic “u-tick,” often in duet as a pair. Note drooping tail during low flight. Distinguishable from Dunnock by larger size, longer tail, and lighter underparts.

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New Zealand Fernbird

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