Stitchbird, male, Mount Bruce. Photo copyright: Garry Norman/Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre.

Male Stitchbird, Mount Bruce

The stitchbird/hihi (Notiomystis cincta) is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds.  A medium-sized forest species, hihi compete with tui and bellbirds for nectar, insects and small fruits. 

But apart from diet, hihi share few qualities with tui and bellbird, which are members of the honeyeater family.  Recent DNA analysis has shown that hihi are in fact the sole representative of another bird family found only in New Zealand whose closest relatives may be the iconic wattlebirds that include kokako, saddleback and the extinct huia. 

 
 

Find out more

Learn more

New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds

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