tītipounamu the New Zealand Rifleman

tītipounamu the New Zealand Rifleman is New Zealand’s smallest bird. The male sports a stunning green suit whereas the female is drabber but none the less pretty. Both birds, never stop still when feeding in the forest and are a true challenge for the photographer.

tītipounamu are only about 8cm long and weigh about 6 or 7 grams (or one third of a mouse!)
The name Rifleman apparently refers to their green colour being like a Military green.
Their Maori name,  Tititi-Pounamu, most likely refers to their colour and the sound of their call.
pounamu is the name of a deep green New Zealand nephrite jade.
The best interpretation of the first part ‘ti ti ti’ that I’ve found is that it’s a reflection of their call.  they sound a little bit like a tiny cricket? (from Sharon Walsh)

Tītipounamu is one of my favourite birds to photograph.


Please click on the image to see the full size and information available for that particular print.

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