25 Dec 2017

25 Dec 17 - Happy Christmas

Well it's traditional in the UK to send Robins on Christmas cards, so feel I had better follow suit & pop a Robin on the blog.
New Zealand South Island Robin: This has been split in 2019 from the North Island populations. Motarua Island, Marlborough Sound (Dec 2001)
This is a true forest Robin & while it looks like a black version of my garden Robins, is not related to them (it is a member of the Australasian Robin family). I only ran into them on a couple of occasions on this trip and on both occasions they were seen on islands: Tiritiri Matangi off Auckland & Motarua Island at the top of South Island. They are full of character and very tame. I found that if I stayed still after tuning over a bit of the path, then will quickly come down to look for food right next to you. Far tamer than my garden Robins. Guess it's a species that has suffered a major population crash after the original European settlers introduced over 50 species of mammals, of which about 30 are still present in the country. However, the Kiwis are leading the world in removing these unwanted predators. They have now started on clearance projects in parts of the mainland. So hopefully this will allow some of the native birds to be introduced from these island refuges back into larger mainland sites.