Story: Wetland birds

Fernbird with chicks

Fernbird with chicks

Fernbirds or mātātā are secretive birds that live in dense rush-like or scrubby vegetation at the edges of pakihi or swamp, or in regenerating forest. They are difficult to follow as they thread through tightly interlocking vegetation. Fernbirds lay about three pale pink eggs with flecks in a well-hidden nest. Both adults incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

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Photograph by Geoff Moon

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Kingfishers and fernbirds – wetland margins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/14670/fernbird-with-chicks (accessed 6 July 2020)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015