Sunday, 27 July 2014

Piwakawaka- Black Morph Fantail

Morph comes from the word metamorphosis, which is a Greek word meaning “a transforming”

While I was waiting for David to collect me at the end of the Kaikoura Coastal Walk I spotted a black fantail (piwakawaka). We’ve seen a few black fantails on our travels but most of them haven’t stayed still long enough for me to take some shots. This one was doing a little circuit of the bushes beside the walkway so I knew if I stayed still long enough he’d come back round and stop for a few moments before launching himself up into the air again chasing bugs & flies that were flying around in the late afternoon sun.

Black morph fantails are very rare in the North Island but make up about 5% of the South Island population. For readers who are unaware of the usual fantail colouring here is one I prepared earlier Smile  I took this one in Napier last year.

And here is Kaikoura’s black fantail


  1. We have black fantails around us here in Nelson, though I think they are not totally black like your Kaikoura ones, black with white edges are our local ones.
    Every time I see a fantail I think of my father, he loved them too!

    1. I have yet to see a black & white one Jimu but apparently they are another morph that occurs in the Sth Island.
      Fantails remind me of our family home on the farm, they would often come inside chasing bugs. Of course Maori folklore has this meaning sorrow in the family but how could you stop them. Luckily nothing bad could be attributed to our friendly little visitors.

  2. You got some nice shots there Shellie. I've seen the black ones a few times but never managed to get a shot of one.

    1. Thanks Lisa, yes they are fast little blighters but their downfall is their routine. They stay on the same circuit and if you wait long enough...... :)


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