Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

Grey Warbler

Scientific name:

 Gerygone igata

Maori Name:




Conservation status

 Endemic. Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Widespread and common


 10cm, 6.5g


 5+ years


 August – January


 Mainly invertebrates

Grey warbler - photographer: Simon FordhamThis tiny bird is grey-brown above and pale grey on the face, throat and breast and has an off-white belly and undertail. The darker tail is tipped white and the eye is red. The song is a distinctive long musical wavering trill.

The diet is mainly invertebrates. Spiders, caterpillars, flies, beetles and bugs are often taken by the bird hovering to pick them from plants. A few small fruits are also eaten.

Breeding takes place between August and January and pairs stay together year after year. The female takes up to 27 days to build the distinctive domed hanging nest with a small side entrance hole. It is made of rootlets, moss, lichen, leaves, bark, tree-fern scales and fibres, twigs, cobwebs, spider egg-cases, wool, hair and feathers, and is lined with a thick layer of feathers, downy seeds and tree-fern scales. The clutch of 2–5 white eggs with reddish-brown speckling is incubated by the female for 17–21 days. Both parents feed the chicks for the 15–19 day fledging period and for up to 35 days after the chicks leave the nest. The male does most of the later care of the first brood as the female prepares to lay a second clutch.

Grey warbler - photographer: Max McRae
The grey warbler is the usual host to the shining cuckoo and they have been seen feeding shining cuckoo chicks on Tiri. 

This bird is one of the few native passerines to have adapted to human modification of the landscape and is common in many forest, scrub, rural and city habitats.

Find out more about the grey warbler at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Simon Fordham
© (left) and Max McRae © (right)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.