- Rhipidura fuliginosa
14–17 cm (5½-6¾ in)
There are two colour morphs
- Dark olive brown head and back
- White tail
- Yellow stomach
- White splashes on neck and above the eye
- Long spread tail makes identification very easy
Juveniles mostly brownish-black bodies, they lack the white eyebrows, and breast bands
Black Morph (rarely seen on North Island)
- Almost entirely black
- Blackish-brown over the rump, belly and flight feathers
- Occasionally they have a white spot over each ear
- Black morph fantails never have white on their tail feathers
Juvenile black fantails tend to be more dark brown than black
Formerly lumped with Grey Fantail and/or the Mangrove Fantail. The three form a superspecies.
There are 4 subspecies:
- R. f. fuliginosa:
- Stewart Island and South Island (New Zealand)
- R. f. placabilis:
- North Island (New Zealand)
- R. f. penita:
- Chatham Islands
- R. f. cervina:
- Formerly Lord Howe Island Extinct
A variety of woodlands, parks, gardens and forests.
Often fans tail broadly, and does a little dance on the forest floor.
Their diet mostly consists of flying insects such as beetles, flies, butterflies and moths, but also fruit and berries.
A compact, cup shaped nest is built out of fibres, moss and bark lined with cobwebs. Incubation takes 15 days. Four or five broods are common.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Boles, W. (2017). New Zealand Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/59146 on 20 March 2017).
- Higgins,P.J.; Peter, J.M.; Cowling, S.J. (eds) 2006. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 7, boatbill to starlings. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
- Powlesland, R.G. 2013 [updated 2017]. New Zealand fantail. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) New Zealand Fantail. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 26 March 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/New_Zealand_Fantail
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.