Alternative names: Hihi; Ihi; Kotihe; Pogonornis
- Notiomystis cincta
Length: 18cm (7").
A medium-sized passerine with a slender and slightly decurved bill and a moderately long tail, often held cocked:
- Distinctive velvet-black head and upper breast
- White erectile ear-tufts
- Black underlined on breast with golden-yellow
- Black wings with golden-yellow shoulder patches and white wing-bars
- Rest of underparts pale brown
- Grey-brown with white wing-bar
- Small non-distinctive ear-tufts os same grey-brown
Juveniles are similar to females
An endangered New Zealand bird, only one wild population (exact numbers unknown) remains on Hauturu, an offshore island and closed scientific reserve near Auckland. Smaller poulations are on two open scientific reserves, Tiritiri Matangi and Kapiti Isalnds, and a small population has been released into the Karori Wildlife sanctuary on the mainland near Wellington. Total remaining population is less than 1000 birds.
Formerly placed in Meliphagidae, now recognized as the sole member of its own New Zealand endemic family Notiomystidae, most closely related to the Callaeidae (New Zealand wattlebirds).
Two subspecies (one extinct) are recognized. The differences are slight and N. c. hautura is considered invalid by some authorities.
- N. c. hautura: Little Barrier Island, New Zealand; transplanted to a number of other predator free islands.
- N. c. cincta: Formerly Great Barrier, North and Kapiti islands. Extinct ca 1885. Larger and paler.
Dense native forest.
Usually seen in pairs, outside breeding season in small groups of up to 10 birds. A resident species.
Breeding recorded in September, October to February and March. The nest is a platform made of sticks and rootlets, placed in a hollow or another cavity in a trunk or branch of a mature tree, translocated birds also in nestboxes. Lays 3 - 5 eggs.
Feeds on nectar, fruit and small arthropods.
Common call is a loud, explosive see-si-ip or stitch.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
- BirdLife International. 2016. Notiomystis cincta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22704154A93955122. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22704154A93955122.en. Downloaded on 12 March 2017.
- Driskell, A.L. Christidis, B.J. Gill, W.E. Boles, F.K. Barker, and N.W. Longmore. 2007. A new endemic family of New Zealand passerine birds: adding heat to a biodiversity hotspot. Australian Journal of Zoology 55(7): 73-78. PDF
- Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & de Juana, E. (2017). Stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta). 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/62335 on 12 March 2017).
- Higgins, P.J.; Peter, J.M.; Steele, W.K. (eds) 2001. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 5, tyrant-flycatchers to chats. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
- Castro, I. 2013. Stitchbird. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz
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