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


Saddleback (North Island) Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Callaeidae
Genus: Philesturnus
Species: P. carunculatus
Binomial name: Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater
Synonyms: Creadion carunculatus
Common name: North Island saddleback, Tieke

Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater is a previously rare and endangered New Zealand. It is one of two subspecies the other from the South Island (Philesturnus carunculatus).
Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater is a 25cm long glossy black bird with males weighing 80g and the females 70g. They have a distinctive chestnut saddle marking which they develop before they leave the nest. They have vivid red coloured fleshy appendages on either side of the beak ("wattles"). The male has larger wattles than the female. They are very vocal birds. The males have a repertoire of melodious calls that they use during mating and in territorial disputes.
Saddlebacks were once widespread throughout New Zealand's mainland and island forests. Their decline began in the mid 19th century, caused by forest clearance and introduced predators such as ship rats, feral cats and stoats.
All saddlebacks are now extinct on the mainland, and live either in pest proof reserves or on off shore islands. Saddlebacks are found mostly in the middle and lower layers of the forest, usually on the ground, probing through dead wood and leaf litter for weta, grubs and other insects. They also eat fruits of various forest trees, such as kawakawa and coprosma.

Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater is a 25cm long glossy black bird with males weighing 80g and the females 70g. They have a distinctive chestnut saddle marking which they develop before they leave the nest. They have vivid red coloured fleshy appendages on either side of the beak ("wattles"). The male has larger wattles than the female. They are very vocal birds. The males have a repertoire of melodious calls that they use during mating and in territorial disputes.

Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater were reintroduced to Taranaki after being absent for about 150 years when on the 10th May 2014 they were introduced to Rotokare Scenic Reserve, New Zealand's largest inland pest-free sanctuary. The birds made the 395km journey from Little Barrier Island to Lake Rotokare, near Eltham, via helicopter and car.

For more details visit: http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/north-island-saddleback



A video of the NZ Saddleback filmed at Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch, NZ.
  

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