Story: Te tāhere manu – bird catching

Silvereye perch

Silvereye perch

A birder waits for a pihipihi (silvereye) to land on a pae pihipihi (silvereye perch), in 1921. The suspended leaf is intended to attract the birds’ attention as it flutters in the breeze. Decoy birds were also often used. When enough birds came, one sweep of a rod could knock down six to eight at a time. Ethnographer Elsdon Best reported seeing thousands of these birds at Ruatāhuna, killed and preserved in their own fat in kerosene tins.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Te tāhere manu – bird catching - Spears, rods, hands and traps', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 December 2023)

Story by Basil Keane, published 24 Sep 2007