- Eddie McKay
Piwakawaka ( Pee’-waka-waka)
The fantail is common throughout New Zealand It is one of the few native bird species in New Zealand that has been able to adapt to an environment greatly altered by humans. Fantails use their broad tails to change direction quickly while hunting for insects. They sometimes hop around upside-down amongst tree ferns and foliage to pick insects from the underside of leaves. Their main prey are moths, flies, spiders, wasps, and beetles, although they sometimes also eat fruit. They seldom feed on the ground. The fantail often follows another bird or animal (or human) to capture insects disturbed by their movements. Their friendly and inquisitive "cheep" is often heard in my garden and I see them every day. Sometimes their curiosity means that they seem to be checking me out!