North Island saddleback female, close up of head
The saddleback or tīeke belongs to New Zealand's unique wattlebird family (Callaeidae), an ancient group which includes the endangered kōkako and the extinct huia. It is a medium sized bird, and adults of both sexes have similar plumage. The bird's main feature is a conspicuous chestnut-coloured saddle on its back, but it also has chestnut on the tip of its tail, a black bill, black legs, and orange, "fleshy" wattles either side of its throat.
What do saddleback/tīeke eat? Learn a number of facts about this endangered forest bird.
Once widespread throughout NZ, habitat loss and introduced predators have brought saddleback/tīeke to the brink of extinction.
Learn about DOC's recovery plan for both the North Island saddleback/tīeke and South Island saddleback/tīeke.
Learn ways you can get involved in saving the endangered saddleback/tīeke.
Watch the saddleback/tīeke on video.
Listen to or download recordings of saddleback/tīeke song.
New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.