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 TakahÄ“ 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..


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.