Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s Takahē Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

Long Tailed Cuckoo

Scientific name:

 Eudynamys taitensis

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 Endemic, Naturally uncommon

Mainland status:

 Widespread, sparsely distributed

Size:  40cm, 125g






 Large invertebrates, lizards, birds, chicks, eggs, berries and fruit

Status on Tiritiri Matangi:  A few pass through each year

Long tailed cuckoo in tree - photographer: Ian SoutheyThis large cuckoo has rich brown upper parts which are barred black, and pale buff underparts and face boldly streaked brown and black. The tail is as long as the body. The call is a repeated loud, harsh, hissing, long drawn-out shriek 'zzwheesht' with a rising inflection; also a loud, rapid chatter.

The diet is mainly large invertebrates such as wētā, stick insects, spiders, beetles and bugs. Skinks, geckos, small birds, eggs, chicks, berries and fruit are also eaten.

Most long-tailed cuckoos over winter in the tropical Pacific and return to New Zealand in early October to breed in the same area year after year. A single creamy-white or very pale pink egg with brownish blotches is laid in the nest of either a whitehead (NI) or a yellowhead or brown creeper (SI). The egg is larger than the host’s eggs, and when it hatches the chick evicts the host's eggs and/or chicks and remains the sole occupant of the nest. The chick is fed in the nest by its foster-parents and their helpers for about 21 days. After fledging it continues to be fed by its foster family for at least four weeks.

The long-tailed cuckoo in New Zealand has probably declined in line with the decline of the host species (especially yellowhead in the SI) and the clearance of subtropical rainforest in parts of their wintering range.

Long tailed cuckoo on rock - photographer: Ian SoutheyAlthough long-tailed cuckoos are occasionally seen on Tiritiri Matangi each summer, they appear to be just passing through as there is no evidence of them breeding on the Island.

Learn more about the long-tailed cuckoo at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by:  Ian Southey ©

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.