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Passeriformes > Petroicidae

Tomtit

Petroica macrocephala

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Identification

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Small forest bird with distinct large head and short tail, endemic to New Zealand. The five subspecies are restricted to North, South, Snares, Auckland, and Chatham Islands, respectively. Plumage is variable depending on sex and location. Males are generally black and white, females brown and white. Both sexes have a white spot at the base of the bill, which is raised as a threat display. Favors mature native forests, but also uses scrub and exotic forest stands. Feeds in understory of forest but will come out in the open. Perches on trunks and branches before swooping down to take insect prey. Listen for musical male song “ti-oly-oly-oly-ho,” often likened to a squeaky gate being opened and shut.

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Tomtit

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