Tomtit in Kaipātiki


Female – note the classy orange boots and the white wing flash.

A NZ native White Breasted tomtit or miromiro (Petroica macrocephala) was photographed in Bayview a few days ago which is a fantastic record for Kaipātiki. These charming little birds are rarely seen in an urban area and it is only the second time we have heard of one here.

They hold a territory all year so you are likely to see a male and a female together. The male is black and white and the female brown and white. Often, they will mate for life, and it is believed they may live for around 10 years. They look similar too, and are relatives of the NZ robin, having the same large head, but the tomtit has much shorter legs and red/orange undersides to his feet. They mainly eat insects. They have a call similar to grey warblers, so check out any strange calls you hear. Check it out here.

In defending his territory this little bird will aggressively raise the feathers on his head and flash a white spot he has above his eyes. He will chase intruders out big time.

Their nests are often in hollows, nooks and crannies in trees so the female and chicks and eggs often fall prey to rats. So, Bayview keep up that fantastic trapping!!

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