26 June 2009

Xenicus gilviventris: a new rock star?

Rock wren
Given the recent publicity about New Zealand rock wrens, they look set to become famous, at least in Aotearoa. They even have their own web site: Tuke (from one of the common names for the uncommon rock wren) (nice work, Jamie). While the site's currently fairly basic, it provides links to some excellent articles, like Liz Sherwood's essay in NZ Wilderness earlier this year. Rather than go on at length, I'll suggest you read Liz's article and check Jamie's blog.

This female rock wren visited Jono and I in 2006 as we rested near Lake Adelaide in the Darran mountains, northern Fiordland.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

6 comments:

Zhoen said...

So much character concentrated in that tiny body.

Patricia said...

Thanks for the introduction to this charming bird. What a lovely profile.

the watercats said...

I love the fact they have hardly any tail.. is that usual? The wrens over here have short little upright ones. Lovely little bird, such a beautiful colour too!

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, they have wonderful personalities.

Patricia, I love these little birds and feel privileged to have met them.

Watercats, yes, that vestigial tail is indeed characteristic. In fact, they're a different group from your wrens; these have their own endemic family.

butuki said...

Does the tail actually provide practical flying service?

And to make up for it, or maybe because of the law of thermodynamics, those are some HUGE feet! Kind of reminds me of Charlie Chaplin...

pohanginapete said...

Miguel, I doubt the tail is usefully functional, but the huge feet certainly help it grip the big, blocky rocks among which they live. They're delightful wee birds; anyone who's seen them in the wild must feel lucky and honoured, I reckon.