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South Island Piopio - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 15:18, 13 September 2017 by Wintibird (talk | contribs)
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Skull t.png The species South Island Piopio is extinct.
Skull t.png

Photo by Chlidonias
Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand
Turnagra capensis



New Zealand, South Island, Stephens Island and probably Stewart Island.


It was formerly considered conspecific with North Island Piopio.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • T. c. minor:
  • Formerly New Zealand (Stephens Island). Extinct; last reported 1897
  • T. c. capensis:
  • Formerly New Zealand (South Island). Extinct; last confirmed report in 1905

Relationships of this species are not clear. Until recently, Piopio were considered part of an endemic family. Some authorites treat it now as part of the birds–of–paradise and bowerbird assemblage, perhaps most closely related to the catbirds of eastern Australia due to mitochondrial DNA testing. Others place it in the Whistlers or with the Australasian Robins. However, the latest DNA studies indicate that this species was part of the Orioles, either as a basal species or sister to the Figbirds[2]. Until further clarification we follow Clements and place the Piopios in Oriolidae.





Diet included insects, worms and berries.


It nested in thick foliage of trees, lining the nest with fern. Nests usually contained two eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the taxonomy of this species

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