Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Fantail, Piwakawaka

Perhaps my favourite bird in New Zealand is the Fantail (Maori, Piwakawaka l. Rhipidura fuliginosa)  I have done at least six posts mentioning this beautiful and cheeky bird.  They seem to have no particular fear of humans and frequently come very close when I'm on the deck or walking up to The House.  They are attracted by the insects which come close and which I often cannot see.  This summer however one particular bird has taken to coming into the house (I'm making an assumption that it's just one) and flying round to see what he/she can find for a snack.  He comes in through the open ranch sliders and then explores the rooms in the house and never tries to exit via a closed window or door.  He ignores me and comes within a metre or soquite happily.  Unfortunately Fantails rarely sit still for more than a few seconds making photographing them exceptionally hard.  I have been trying ever since I came to New Zealand in 2005 to get the perfect Fantail picture.  These are probably as good as I'm going to get:

Having a look in my hat
On my hat
A very rare photo of one in flight


  1. Hello Graham:
    What wonderful images of a bird which is, not surprisingly, completely unknown to us. Clearly, as you say, he must be fearless to come into the house on a regular basis.

  2. I loved reading your post. I have pigeons at my kitchen window often. The pictures are good.

  3. Ah, dear little Piwakawaka. I think all their practice in 'enclosed' spaces in the bush gives them plenty of practice so they are good at negotiating the indoor space. We had one that knew the way in and way out too. As you say, they seem to know what windows are. Very hard to capture on the wing! How many blurred shots did you have to discard!?

  4. A beautiful little bird! No telling what he was hoping to pull out of your hat. Ha!
    Love that last photo especially!

  5. What a beautiful bird, and that last shot seems just perfect.
    I'm also guessing a photo of one flying indoors must be even more rare... ;)
    I wonder if it will miss you, having got used to your presence?
    Ah well.. I'm sure the birds on Lewis will be waiting for your return!

  6. I especially like the one on the hat.