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..

Welcome Swallow

Scientific name:

 Hirundo tahitica neoxena



Conservation status:

 Native. Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common


 15cm, 14g




 August - March



Welcome swallows were first recorded as breeding in New Zealand in 1958, having self-introduced from Australia. They are now common in open country especially near water in lowland New Zealand, except in Otago and Southland, where they are still uncommon.

The head and back is blue-black and the forehead, throat and chest is rufous. The underparts are dull white and the deeply forked tail has a row of white spots near the tip. The song is a series of twitters, trills and cheeps.

Breeding takes place between August and March. Both birds build the half-cup nest of mud and grass, lined with dry grass, rootlets, hair, wool and a layer of feathers. The nest is placed on a ledge or attached to a rough vertical surface, often under bridges, culverts, eaves of houses, in sheds, caves, on rock outcrops or under overhanging banks. The clutch of 2–7 pale pink eggs, variably flecked reddish brown, is incubated by the female for 15–19 days. Both parents feed the chicks, which fledge at 18–23 days old. The young return to the nest to roost and continue to be fed for around 3 weeks.

Welcome swallows eat invertebrates, caught on the wing; mainly flies, including midges and blowflies, small beetles and moths.

Welcome swallows breed on Tiritiri Matangi and are often seen hawking for insects over the open grassy areas, and over the ponds.

Learn more about the welcome swallow at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by:  Dr Kerry Rodgers ©

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.