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Revision as of 13:42, 1 May 2023 by KeithDickinson-10828 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: added common name to Gsearch)
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Photo by Layzeboy
Lake Brunner Westcoast, South Island New Zealand, July 2006
Petroica macrocephala


North Island male
Photo by Raikyn
Boundary Stream reserve, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, December 2016

13 cm (5 in)

  • Large head
  • Short tail


  • Black head neck and upperparts
  • White forehead spot
  • Black upper wing
  • White bar on remiges

Adult females have brown head and upperparts.

Sub species vary greatly in size and colour (see[1].


New Zealand.



There are five races[1]: of this bird, each restricted to an island and its outlying islands:

  • P. m. toitoi: black head with white spot above bill, black upperparts and upper breast, white underparts, white wing bar and sides to tail
  • North Island and adjacent offshore islands (New Zealand)
  • P. m. macrocephala: and the next two all have a yellow breast
  • South Island and Stewart Island (New Zealand)
  • P. m. marrineri:
  • Auckland Islands
  • P. m. chathamensis:
  • Chatham Islands
  • P. m. dannefaerdi: is totally black
  • Snares Islands


Native forests.


Highly territorial.


The diet consist of a variety of insects, also weta, worms and months. Fruit is added during autumn and winter.


They nest in a hole in a tree or a sheltered cleft in a bank or rock. The female builds the nest from moss, thin strips of bark, bound together with cobwebs and feathers. The clutch consists of 3-4 white eggs, spotted with dark specks; they are incubated by the female. The young being fed by both adults. There are usually two or three broods each year.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved January 2017)
  3. New Zealand Birds

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1