Grey Warbler (Gerygone igata)
Species: G. igata
Scientific name: Gerygone igata,
Common name: Gray Warbler, Rainbird, Riroriro
Grey Warbler is New Zealand’s most successful endemic bird post-human invasion. It is New Zealand’s smallest bird (equal with the Rifleman) and its song is the most heard of the endemic birds. They make a lovely trilling call.
Gray Warblers song
They are also known as the rainbird as they call when rain is imminent. The warbler is a bit smaller than a waxeye and is quite shy and they do not stay in one place for long - (as you can see in the photo below ). It is really shy and is not often seen… yet it is common.
Grey warblers are unique among New Zealand birds in building a pear-shaped structure with a side entrance near the top. Although the male collects material, the nest itself is constructed by the female from grass, leaves, rootlets and moss, held together with spider web threads. It is constructed anywhere from 2 to 25 feet above the ground, and is lined with feathers and other soft material. It is attached to a twig at the top, but is often also secured at the back or sides well. Although not involved in nest building or incubation, the male helps to feed both nestlings and fledglings. The 3 to 6 eggs, each laid 2 days apart, are pinkish-white with fine reddish-brown speckles all over. The eggs, weighing 1.5 grams are about 17 millimetres long and 12 millimetres wide. Incubation takes about 19 days and the chicks spend another 15 to 19 days in the nest. Their breeding season is from August to January and they usually manage two clutches. It is during the second clutches that the shining cuckoo targets the best on it's return from the Soloman Is in early October. The cockoo lays one egg in the warbler's hanging nest and the poor little bird has to raise the large cukoo chick that hatches.
Their diet is mainly invertebrates, spiders, caterpillars, flies, beetles and bugs are often taken by the bird hovering to pick them from plants. A few small fruits are also eaten.
Photo courtesy Nga Manu Images
another nest made out of different materials than the nest above
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