Saddleback (Tieke)


Habitat

Found on small offshore islands and the heavily protected Zealandia (formerly Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) the Saddleback is a forest bird preferring the undergrowth and mid canopy where their lack of flying ability (they can fly short distances only) isn't as much of a handicap and they can find insects and fruits to eat.


Identification

Saddlebacks are easily identified by the brown "saddle" on their backs. They are around the same size as Tui and have a similar call.


Links

Wikipedia, De[t of conservation, NZBirds.com, Zealandia


Summary

Saddlebacks were extinct on both the North and South Islands early in the 20th century however small populations survived on Hen Island and Big South Cape Island. From these humble beginnings Saddleback conservation efforts have seen the Saddleback florish on many offshore nature reserves and, in 2002, they were finally reintroduced to the mainland at Zealandia (formerly Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) behind predator proof fences.


Saddlebacks
Two saddlebacks play on Kapiti Island




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