Birds you may see on Ulva Island

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Stewart Island Weka

Stewart Island Weka are naturally furtive but when exposed to people can become quite bold. They are flightless but can swim up to a kilometre and walk long distances. Weka are opportunists‚ feeding mostly on insects‚ bird eggs‚ lizards and even other birds (usually as carrion). They are also curious enough to try anything from your bag. Please do not feed them.

South Island Saddleback (Tieke)

Thirty South Island Saddlebacks (Tieke) were released onto Ulva Island in 2000. They are distinct from their North Island counterparts in that it takes up to 18 months for their feathers to develop the distinctive black colouring and red "saddle" of an adult bird. Look for the brown jackbirds" (juveniles/younger birds) on the trunks of tree-ferns and on the ground.

Tomtit (Miromiro) Tomtit (Miromiro) are common throughout Ulva Island. The males are a stark black and white‚ with the females being a much duller grey-brown. They feed in the understory by perching on a branch or trunk and scanning. Once spotted‚ insects are quickly pounced on.

Twenty Stewart Island Robin (Toutouwai) were released to the safety of Ulva Island in 2000. Thanks to an abundance of food and protection from rats, by 2007 their number was approaching 200 birds. Robins are inquisitive and often follow people, eating insects disturbed by foot fall.

Stewart Island Robin (Toutouwai)
High-pitched cheeping makes Brown Creeper (Pipipi) easy to hear as they feed in flocks in the foliage. Listen also for their occasional, melodic breeding call. Only the dominant male and female will breed and a number of helpers assist feeding the chicks.
Be careful as you walk along the beach - Oystercatchers (Torea) lay their speckled eggs in a "nest" scraped out of the sand. Oystercatchers will defend these nests vigorously, but prefer to lead predators away with broken wing displays. Oystercatcher (Törea)

Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka) There are 30-40 Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka) on Ulva Island. The national population of kiwi is declining - predators such as dogs, stoats and wild cats are killing them. Kiwi feed by walking slowly‚ probing the ground and sniffing loudly through nostrils placed unusually at the end of their long beak. Once they smell an insect or worm they plunge their bill deep into the ground, sometimes up to the hilt.
Rifleman (Titipounamu) Thirty Rifleman (Titipounamu) were released in February 2003. These birds have a very highpitched note and can be difficult to hear. They are New Zealand's most ancient and smallest bird (5g). Rifleman are now plentiful and have dispersed across the whole of Ulva Island.
Fantail (Pïwakawaka) Fantail (Piwakawaka) may dart around you as you are walking. This might seem like friendliness but is actually opportunism - the fantail is trying to catch the flying insects you disturb as you walk. The large tail gives them manoeuvrability that allows them to catch and feed on flying insects.

Tui is one of the key songbirds on Ulva Island. Like the bellbird, they are relatively numerous. Tui aggressively chase other birds away from their food of nectar, fruit and insects. The tui spreads seeds and pollinates plants as it feeds from plant to plant. Tüï
The Bellbird (Korimako) is one of Ulva Island's most plentiful birds and one of its key songbirds. It survives well because it is aggressive and produces plenty of young. Look for bellbirds feeding on honeydew up and down the tree trunks. Bellbird (Korimako)
The Yellowhead (Mohua) population is slowly building and was estimated at over 70 birds in 2006. In winter the birds come together in large flocks, but in summer they separate out into breeding territories, and at this time you can often hear the distinctive 'buzz' call of a female. Yellowhead (Mohua)

New Zealand Pigeon (Kereru)You might see large New Zealand Pigeon (Kereru) swooping and diving through gaps in the forest. Perhaps you will just hear its whooshing, flapping flight. Kereru use the sound of their wing-flap to communicate with the other wood pigeons, letting them know they are nearby.

You may see trees with scars and patches of bark ripped off. This has been caused by kaka, which strip the bark to expose sap, grubs and other nutritious insects that live underneath. Kaka make a range of sounds from harsh scracks to melodious whistles. You may run into a 'pack' of these birds calling to each other.

New Zealand Parakeet (Kakariki)
Red-crowned KäkärikiYellow-crowned kakarikiBoth red and yellow-crowned kakariki, or parakeets, live on Ulva Island. You will often hear their high pitched chatter that sounds like laughter. At certain times of the year, red-crowned kakariki can be spotted feeding on fallen seeds on the ground - an activity only made possible by Ulva Island's predator free status.

Shining Cuckoo (Pipiwharauroa)                               Grey Warbler (Riroriro)
Shining Cuckoo (Pïpïwharauroa)Grey Warbler (Riroriro)Grey warblers can become unsuspecting foster parents to chicks of the shining cuckoo. The cuckoo lays an egg in a grey warbler nest, pushing out a warbler egg. Once hatched, the rapidly growing cuckoo chick gets the parents' full attention. The grey warbler parents seem not to notice the difference and raise the cuckoo as their own. Cuckoo migrate to warmer climes in winter. 

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