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Tieke (Saddleback)

Philesturnus carunculatus
Tieke (Saddleback)

Range

They are found on the offshore islands of New Zealand.

Habitat

They live in the forest.

Body Traits

They are medium-sized birds at 9 – 10 inches long. Both males and females look alike. They are black with reddish-brown shoulders and rump. They have reddish little pieces of skin called a “wattles” on either side of their mouths (it is bigger in the males).

Habits

They have many sweet-sounding songs and sing to attract a mate and show their territory. They are very endangered. Young saddlebacks are called "jack-birds." Because their predators are all introduced animals, saddlebacks have been become endangered. They have not had time to evolve and adapt to the new predators. Young leave the nest before they can fly so are killed by cats and weasels (stoats). They nest in hollow trees where new predators can kill them easily.

Diet

They eat flower nectar, fruit, insects, grubs and seeds.

Reproduction

Females warm (incubate) eggs for 3 weeks.

Tieke (Saddleback)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Callaeidae
Genus:  Philesturnus
Species: P. carunculatus

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