AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at the F..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

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


Scientific name:

 Anthus novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 At risk, declining

Mainland status:

 Locally common in open country

Size:  19cm, 40g




 August - March


 Invertebrates, larvae, sandhoppers, and also some seeds

This species is widely distributed with four subspecies found in New Zealand. Anthus novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae inhabits rough grasslands, sand dunes and rocky terrain throughout New Zealand, Stewart Island and offshore islands. The other three subspecies occur on the Chatham Islands, Antipodes Islands and the Auckland and Campbell Islands.

This slender bird runs and walks jerkily on long legs flicking its long tail up and down. Unlike the Skylark it does not soar high.

The head and upperparts are brown, streaked darker with a prominent white eyebrow. The underparts are whitish, streaked brown on the breast and the outer tail feathers are white. The common call is a shrill 'scree' or drawn out 'zwee' and the territorial song of the male, which is heard from August to February, is a repeated high pitched and slurred 'pipit' and a musical trill.

Their diet is mainly invertebrates, especially beetles (including grass grubs), wasps, flies, spiders, crickets, moths and bugs, insect larvae and pupae and sandhoppers.  They also take seeds of grasses, clover and weeds.

Some pairs remain on territory all year and breed year after year. The female builds the bulky grass nest with a deep cup which is usually well hidden at the base of a clump of grass, tussock, bracken fern, manuka bush, or on the side of a bank. Between August and February 2-3 clutches of 2-5 cream eggs, heavily blotched brown with a darker zone at the broader end are laid. The female incubates for 14-15 days and both parents feed the nestlings which fledge at 14-16 days old. 

It is thought that the New Zealand Pipit has declined locally and disappeared from some arable districts in part due to the introduction of pesticides and mammalian predators and Magpies.

The New Zealand Pipit is occasionally seen on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Find out more about the New Zealand pipit at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by:  Ian Southey © (left, adult; right, juvenile)

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.