27 April 2009

Toutouwai (North Island robin)

Toutouwai, Kapiti Island
Kapiti Island, about quarter of an hour's boat journey from the western coast of the southern North Island, protects some of Aotearoa's rarest birds. I visited Kapiti yesterday with a group of friends, and felt as if I'd come away with several new friends including this little toutouwai (North Island robin; Petroica longipes). These little birds are so unafraid and apparently curious that I had to keep edging away because they were too close for my lens to focus.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

You do catch the intelligent expressions of the birds you photograph.

Relatively Retiring said...

Is that the adult plumage? It looks like an immature British robin.

There's something about robins....when I'm gardening they almost sit on my hands, being so anxious to see what I'm unearthing. It would be perilously easy to hand-tame them, but I won't do that.

butuki said...

I love that name, "Toutouwai"!

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, I guess one of us had to look intelligent, and since the one in front of the camera's going to be seen... ;^)

RR, yes, this is about as colourful as they get. The South Island robin has distinctly yellow breast feathers, but otherwise looks similar. It's so tempting to feed the birds when they're so unafraid, but it's bad for the birds. On Kapiti we were warned not to do so, and also cautioned about the kaka and weka, which will actually steal your lunch from your hand — or even from your lips!

Miguel, many of the Maori names of birds are so much more evocative than the English names. Toutouwai is pronounced (roughly — I'm no expert), "TOE-toe-wye" ("toe" as in those things on one's feet).