The Fantail or Piwakawaka is pretty much ubiquitous throughout New Zealand.
There are two colour phases- standard (pictured) and goth, or melanistic, in which the entire bird is deep chocolaty black. Its size can be determined from the clothes peg beside the wee guy seated below. This is the covered clothesline at the back of our house; it's a favourite haunt of both the gnats/tree flies and the avian contingent that snacks on them.
Fantails are tiny, tiny balls of fluffy nothing in the hand, as we've found in the course of capture and eviction.
They are relentless busybodies, often scouring the house in gangs of two and three for hours, fluttering at windows and swooping through doorways in their attempts to bust in, convinced we're hoarding all the insectivorous largesse their teeny hearts desire. Usually they'll make their own way out again, shitting on the lamp shades and trumpeting their squeaky-toy songs.
Maori legend associates the Piwakawaka with boldness (it is almost completely fearless, to be sure, sometimes even landing on you) and death, via its betrayal of Maui as he sought to kill Hine-nui-te-po, goddess of the underworld, and thus end human mortality. Quel dommage.
Personally, we regard them with extreme fondness. Their nests are tiny conical structures spun with spider web and laced with lichen and the fantail sits tucked into the top in the most snug manner imaginable. When broods emerge they often hang out together over the warmer months, invading the garden in bossy little gangs of three.
Anyone familiar with this bird will know The Lovely R did very well to get these images since the Fantail rarely holds a pose for more than a moment. A group of them clustering around you, fanning busily and singing as you trundle along a bush path or disturb the insects hiding in the garden is one of the nicest things about summer.
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