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Australasian Harrier

Maori Name: 
Kahu
Scientific Name: 
Circus approximans
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Male 55 cm, 650 g; Female 60 cm, 850 g. Large brown hawk with long fingered wings held in shallow V, and a long slightly rounded tail. Becomes paler with age. Juvenile very dark brown with a prominent white patch on back of head; brown uppertail and brown eye. In adult, head and upperparts dark brown, face paler; uppertail white, tail light brown barred dark brown; underparts reddish brown streaked dark brown, underwings barred at tips and on trailing half. Some very old males have frosty-grey upperparts, pale buff underparts and white underwings. Eye yellow in males, very pale yellow in females. Commonly soars and glides in search of prey or carrion; often feeds on roadkilled animals. Habitat: Farmland, tussockland and swamps, also forest edges. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Australian Magpie

Scientific Name: 
Gymnorhina tibicen
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41 cm, 350 g. Large black and white bird with pale blue black-tipped bill. White-backed form has hind neck and back white in male finely barred grey in female. Black-backed form (mostly in Hawke''s Bay), has black back; hind neck white in male, finely barred grey in female. Juvenile like female, but underparts brownish grey and bill dark. Hybrids have variable black on back. Flight direct, with pointed wings and rapid shallow wingbeats. Feeds on the ground, sometimes in loose flocks. Song distinctive flute-like carolling, especially at dawn and dusk, rendered ''quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle''. Habitat: Open farmland with tall shelterbelts and scattered trees or forest, parks and gardens. Breeding: Jul-Dec.

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Bellbird

Maori Name: 
Korimako
Scientific Name: 
Anthornis melanura
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20 cm; Male 34 g, female 26 g. Green bird with a short curved bill, slightly forked tail, and noisy whirring fast and direct flight. Adult male olive green, paler on underparts, head tinted with purple gloss; wings and tail dark bluish black, except for yellow patch at bend of folded wing; eye red. Female browner with narrow white stripe across cheek from bill and bluish gloss on forehead and crown. Juvenile like female, but with brown eye and yellowish cheek stripe. Song varies regionally but always loud clear liquid ringing notes, without grunts and wheezes. Alarm call a rapidly repeated harsh scolding ''yeng, yeng, yeng''. Habitat: Native and exotic forest, scrub, farm shelterbelts, parks and gardens. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Blackbird

Scientific Name: 
Turdus merula
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25 cm, 90 g. Adult male black with a bright orange bill. Adult female dark brown with paler throat and smudgy mottled breast; bill brown and dull orange. Juvenile rusty brown, especially on head; pale streaks on back and wing coverts; brown barring on underparts; bill dark brown. Immature male (Apr-Jan) has brown wings contrasting with black body. Long tail. Feeds mainly on the ground; hops rather than walks. Song a loud clear tuneful warble, mellower than Song Thrush and not reptitive. Alarm call a persistent sharp ''tchink-tchink''. Habitat: Forest, scrub, farmland with scattered trees or hedges, orchards, parks and gardens. Breeding: Aug-Jan.

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Blue Duck

Maori Name: 
Whio
Scientific Name: 
Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos
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53 cm; Male 900 g, Female 750 g. Blue-grey duck with a pale pink bill, tipped with black flaps. Adult has yellow eyes, breast spotted reddish chestnut. Sexes similar. Juvenile has dull grey bill and eyes, and fewer breast spots. Uniformly grey in flight. Male call a whistling ''whio, whio'' (fee-o, fee-0); female call a rattling growl; often call together in flight. Remain in territorial pairs all year. Seen standing on rocks or feeding with head and neck underwater. Habitat: Fast-flowing mountain streams and rivers, mainly in native forest or tussock grassland, occasionally on lakes. Breeding: Jul-Jan.

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Brown Creeper

Maori Name: 
Pipipi
Scientific Name: 
Mohoua novaeseelandiae
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13 cm; male 13.5 g, female 11 g. Crown, back, rump and tail reddish brown; ash grey on face and neck; small white stripe behind eye; light buff underparts; dark bar near tip of tail. Sexes and juveniles alike. Usually in small fast-moving noisy flocks high in canopy, uttering nasal notes and rapid slurred trills. Male song includes slurs, musical whistles and harsh notes: ''chi-roh-ree-roh-ree-reef, the second note being lower than the first. Females sing a rapid

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California Quail

Scientific Name: 
Callipepla californica
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25 cm, 180 g. Small partridge with forward-curving topknot crest plume, smaller in female. Male has a black throat bordered by a white band, blue-grey breast and scaly upperparts. Female duller. Male has a loud 3-syllable call: ''chi-ca-go'' or ''where are you?'', with emphasis on the second syllable. Habitat: Open country with patches of low scrub, riverbeds flanked by willows and gorse. Breeding: Sep-Mar.

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Chaffinch

Scientific Name: 
Fringilla coelebs
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15 cm; Male 22 g, Female 21 g. Sparrow-sized finch with conspicuous white shoulder, wingbar and outer tailfeathers. Adult male has black forehead, blue-grey crown and nape; rich pinkish-brown face and underparts, fading to white on belly; reddish-brown back; olive rump. Female and juvenile lack male colours; mainly soft brownish grey, except greenish rump and prominent white wingbars on darker wing. Flight undulating; flight call a soft single ''tsip''. Malesonga series of short loud not-, ending in aflourish: ''chip chip chip tell tell tell chery-erry-erry tissi cheweeo'', usually given from a high perch. Usual calls a metallic ''pink'' or ''chwink-chwink'', and a whistling ''huit''. Habitat: Native and exotic forest, scrub, farmland, tussockland, parks and gardens. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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Common Myna

Scientific Name: 
Acridotheres tristis
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24 cm, 125 g. Cheeky brown bird with jaunty walk. Adult cinnamon brown with glossy black head and neck, white undertail and underwing; yellow legs, bill and bare patch of skin near eye. Sexes alike. Juvenile has dark brown head, paler bill and facial skin. In flight, prominent whitepatches on wings, and white-tipped tail. Roosts communally all year, largest in winter; small flocks converge at dusk and depart at dawn. Feeds mainly on the ground, often at roadsides. Voice jangling; song a rapid medley of raucous gurgling, chattering and bell-like notes. Habitat: Parks, gardens, orchards and farmland, sometimes on forest margins. Breeding: Oct-Mar.

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Eastern Rosella

Scientific Name: 
Platycercus eximius
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32 cm, 110 g. Distinctive long-tailed parrot with a bell-like ''kwink, kwink'' flight call Head, upper breast and undertail crimson; cheeks white; lower breast yellow; back, rump, flanks and belly yellowish green, mottled black on back; leading edge of inner wing black, contrasts with pale blue on the central wing and dark blue on the wingtips; tail dark bluish green, edged pale blue. Female and immature more heavily mottled black on back, and red areas duller and patchy. Loud ringing calls and chattering notes. Habitat: Favours lightly wooded country (e.g. scattered totara) but uses forest and urban parks and gardens. Breeding: Oct-Jan.

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