Fernbird

Maori Name: 
Matata
Scientific Name: 
Bowdleria punctata
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18 cm, 35 g. Warm brown above, paler below, heavily streaked and spotted dark brown;forehead and crown chestnut; whitish eyebrow stripe. Distinctive longfrayed tail. Sexes and juveniles alike. Secretive, often remaining hidden in thick vegetation or moving mouse-like through the rushes, appearing inquisitively in the scrub canopy. Reluctant to fly. Flight weak and whirring, tail drooping. Often detected by sound alone. Common call a short sharp ''tchip'', and metallic double-note ''uu-tick'' often produced by pair in duet. Habitat: Freshwater and tidal wetlands, especially reedbeds or pakihi with emergent scrub; also drier sparse scrub and bracken. Breeding: Aug-Mar.

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