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Fantail: The fanciest of the natives, the piwakawaka is easily recognised by its distinctive tail feathers. Very chatty and friendly, these birds often approach you in the hope of catching insects which have been recently disturbed.
Rifleman: The smallest of the NZ birds, this tiny green wren flits among the trees looking for little insects to feed on.
Parson bird: The chattiest of the New Zealand natives, the tui may appear black from a distance but each feather has iridescent hues of green, blue and purple. What first catches the eye is its white throat tuft, prompting its English name, "Parson bird", as it looks like a collar.
Takahē: Believed extinct for over 50 years, the takahē is a large endemic bird in the rail family. With only 300 birds left, they are one of our most threatened species.
While it looks similar to a pūkeko, it is actually slightly larger and with shorter legs. The have mottled green feathers on their backs which act as camouflage in the high tussock grasses of the South Island regions they call home.
Blue duck: A white-water rafting river duck, the whio is one of only a few torrent ducks in the world. The whio, so named due to their high pitched "whio" sound, are restricted to only a few certain areas in New Zealand and are classed as thriving in places where there is intense predator control.
Brown Teal: A small dark brown duck with white underwings, the sexes can be differentiated during breeding season when the males' head feathers turn green.
Bellbird: The korimako has a very pretty song which is often carried through the forest in the early hours of dawn. Their song can easily be mistaken for the tui, however it lacks the 'clunk' sounds, making it considerably more melodic.
Blue Wattled Crow: More likely to be seen than heard, the kōkako has an extraordinarily haunting song. Like church organs playing alongside a melodic flute, its these kōkako duets that can be heard dominating the dawn chorus.
New Zealand Wood Pigeon: Famous for getting drunk off berries and crashing through the forest (and the garden!) with the unmistakable 'whoosh whoosh' of the wings.
These little green parakeets are collectively known by their te reo Māori name, "kākāriki" which means "green" (and further breaks down to 'kākā' meaning 'parrot' and 'riki' meaning 'small').
Bush Parrot: The kākā is a large brown parrot with splendid underwings of bright red and yellow. The word kākā means parrot, or "to screech".
Stitchbird: The hihi, whose name means 'rays of sunshine' in te reo Māori, is a one of a kind.
The name 'stitchbird' comes from the piercing sound they make.
Whitebait: People are often unaware that the kōkopu is actually fully-grown whitebait, an endemic fish whose scientific name, 'galaxias', refers to its spotted skin. Very little is known about its spawning or hatching behaviour, while its feeding methods are also murky: scientists believe that it lurks under overhanging vegetation in wait of prey such as cicadas, koura and spiders. Kōkopu can be viewed inside the Kiwi House.
Brown mudfish: These unassuming freshwater fish are known for their miraculous ability to live in harsh environments such as swamps, drains and even on land in times of drought. They are slender with small eyes, and can be found from Taranaki to the South Island.
Freshwater crayfish: This North Island crustacean was once a vital part of Māori trade and a staple food item. They can be found in pastoral waterways and native forest but suffer from the effects of chemical pollution, increased floodwater flows and introduced predators such as trout.
Kōura can be regularly seen in Pūkaha's river.
Longfin eel: These fish have a spectacular life story and are endemic to New Zealand. Eels hatch in the sea around Tonga before floating as 'elvers' to New Zealand on ocean currents. Once in New Zealand, they migrate inland using freshwater waterways where they spend the majority of their lives living and feeding.
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