Story: Land birds – overview

Rifleman male

Rifleman male

The 7-gram rifleman or tītiti pounamu is New Zealand’s smallest bird. It belongs to an endemic family, Acanthisittidae (New Zealand wrens), probably isolated in New Zealand since the separation from Gondwana. The rifleman can fly short distances, generally within the forest – not across open spaces. It feeds by hopping up tree trunks, gleaning insects and spiders from cracks in the bark.

The rifleman’s call is a repeated high-pitched note, out of the range of many people’s hearing.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10029849
Photograph by M. F. Soper

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Land birds – overview - Flightless land birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 April 2024)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 20 Apr 2015