T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa placabilis)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata 
Class: Aves 
Order: Passeriformes 
Family: Monarchidae 
Genera: Rhipidura 
Species: Rhipidura fuliginosa
Sub Species: placabilis, fuliginosa, penitus
Scientific Name: Rhipidura fuliginosa placabilis
Common Names: Fantail, Pied fantail, Piwakwaka 

There are four subspecies recognised:
North Island fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa placabilis (Not Threatened),
South Island fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa fuliginosa (Not Threatened),
Chatham Island fantail Rhipidura fuliginosapenita (Naturally Uncommon)
Lord Howe Island fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa cervina (Extinct).

This Fantail is a New Zealand native and is mid to dark grey or grey-brown above, yellowish/orange below, with a white throat, white markings over the eye, and (depending on the race) either white-edged or entirely white outer tail feathers. It grows to 16 centimetres in length, of which half is the tail, which, as the name implies, is often displayed fanned out. This reveals that the outer tail feathers that are light and the centre ones are dark. Some subspecies are found in a darker plumage, notably the "Black fantail" morph seen in up to 25% of South Island birds and less than 1% of North Island birds (it is completely absent from the Chatham Islands).
During waking hours the bird is almost never still. It flits from perch to perch, sometimes on the ground but mostly on the twigs of a tree or any other convenient object, looking out for flying insects. The birds are not shy, and will often flit within a few metres of people, especially in forested areas and suburban gardens. In doing so, it is able to catch any small flying insects that may have been disturbed by human activities such as walking or digging. The bird's call is an almost metallic "cheek", either as a single sound or (more often) repeated as a chattering. 

The New Zealand Fantail is a seasonal breeder, nesting from August to March in the North Island, September to January in the South Island and October to January on the Chatham Islands. They usually raise two or more broods per season. The birds form compact, cup-shaped nests, usually in the forks of trees, made from moss, bark and fibre, and often completed with spider's web. Both sexes build the nest. The clutch size is usually three to four cream eggs which are spotted grey and brown. The incubation period is around two weeks, and incubation and feeding duties are shared by both adults. Nest building and incubation of the second brood may occur while the fledged young of the first brood are still being fed. Young males may begin breeding two months after fledging. The nests of the New Zealand Fantail are parasitised by the two species of cuckoo in New Zealand
This information from http://en.wikipedia.org

Facts about fantail/piwakawaka

 Listen to the call of Fantail.

Fantail Video

Photos are of the North Island Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa ssp. placabilis)




 





Fantail nest high in the trees  

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/