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


Yellowhead (Mohoua achrocephala)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mohouidae
Genus: Mohoua
Species: M. achrocephala
Binomial name: Mohoua achrocephala
Common name: Yellowhead / Mohua

Yellowhead (Mohoua achrocephala) is a protected, threatened, endemic bird found only in the South Island, mainly found in the beech forests of Eglington Valley, Arthur's pass, Mt Aspiring National Park and the Catlins area where a quarter of the population live. Their numbers have declined dramatically in the early 20th century due to the introduction of black rats and mustelids. The females when nesting are the ones most often taken.
Yellowheads are 15 cm long and are an olive green colour and have a yellow head and chest. They feed on arachnids, invertebrates and seeds.
Breeding occurs during October to December with a grass or moss nest built in a hole in a tree. Up to four pinkish eggs are laid. They are incubated by the female for about 20 days.

 

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