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Wildlife of New Zealand

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Rifleman / Titipounamu (Acanthisitta chloris, Acanthsittidae: New Zealand Wrens) North Island, New Zealand

The Rifleman / Titipounamu is one of only two extant species of this ancient endemic family of New Zealand birds. When it comes to passerine birds, its New Zealand Wrens on one branch and the rest of the worlds' species on the other!

It is New Zealand's smallest bird and is a hyperactive trunk and branch gleaner of insects on often tall epiphyte covered trees, on which it can be hard to follow as the initial clips in this film will demonstrate. Interestingly, it will accept and use nest boxes, this gives us the chance for some clearer views. Male birds have the green crown and back, female birds are a browner green and more striated. Young birds from previous broods will often act as helpers in bring food to the young in the nest. Filmed at liberty in the grounds of New Zealand's National Wildlife Centre at Mount Bruce. At times you can hear calls from Hihi and Red-crowned kakariki which were in nearby large aviaries.

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