Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
  Contents
  Index
WORLD BIRDS
  Contents
  Index

ANECDOTES

  New Zealand Wrens
 
 
 

TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
 Parrots
 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

TOP

 
Passeriformes, Acanthisittidae - New Zealand Wrens
 
Skip to:   
New Zealand Wrens
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
  Most passerines are smaller than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest. Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
 
  Suborder Acanthisittidi - New Zealand Wrens 
The placement of this endemic group found only in New Zealand is under discussion. Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) place them with the Old World Suboscines. Clements (2007) places them between the New World Suboscines and Oscines. Recent studies suggest they form an ancient suborder with no close living relatives and that they may be a sister group to all other passerines. In this web they are recognized as a basal and separate Suborder.
   These are small birds with long legs and a short tail. Their underparts are greenish. They lack a typical oscine syrinx and their syrinx is bronchial and without intrinsic muscles (the syrinx is tracheobronchial in songbirds). The stapes is unique and not typical of other suboscines. There are 4 species placed in 2 genera.
 
  Family Acanthisittidae - New Zealand Wrens
Wiki     ToL     EoL
  4 (3-2) species, 2 genera (Acanthisitta, Xenicus). Two living, one recently extinct (1972), and 3 or more subfossil species may be the remnant of a more widely distributed group. New Zealand. The Rifleman, Acanthisitta chloris, occurs on both islands - it is a small bird that creeps over trunks and branches like a nuthatch. The South Island (Rock) Wren, Bush Wren (last reported in 19972) and the extinct Stephen Island Wren, Xenicus sp., complete the group.
   New Zealand Wrens are small, drab colored birds with brown-green plumage. Both are sexually dimorphic with females being larger than males. They have short, rounded wings and are poor and unwilling fliers (at least 4 of the extinct species were flightless). Their tail is very short. They have fairly long legs and large feet.
   They are insectivorous foragers. Both species feed on invertebrates and occasionally fruit and seeds.
One (the South Island Wren) is restricted to alpine habitats and forages among rocks in high mountain valleys. It is elusive and hard to find. When approached, it bobs up and down and runs to escape. The Rifleman forages on bark and foliage, working its way up trees (particularly in beech forest) - it rarely forages on the ground.
   New Zealand wrens are diurnal and largely sedentary. The South Island Wren disappears from its normal habitat during the harsh winter but there is no evidence they move to a lower elevation. It has been suggested that they may enter torpor in winter?
   Both form monogamous pairs. The Rifleman nests in tree holes. The wren digs a hollow in a bank crevice and builds a large nest of grasses with a side entrance. Incubation lasts 19-21 days. Young are independent about a month after fledging. Rifleman breeders may be assisted by unpaired male helpers (often males that then mate with the female offspring of their adopted family).