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The hihi is one of New Zealand’s rarest forest birds. Just a few years ago, it was restricted to Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf- it had been extinct on the mainland for about a century. The photo above was taken at Karori, where some birds have been translocated.

The photo is of a male- only the male has a jet black head.

Mating is pretty rough by bird standards. Females with developing eggs will be pursued by any (and several) males in the vicinity. Copulation may be forced on the female. In order to maximise the odds a male succeeds in fertilising the eggs, he will produce a lot of sperm in an effort to dilute the contributions of others.

Like most of our forest birds, the hihi is really not fond of being round rats and feral cats.

In terms of the photo, I’ve worked a little with some blurring on the background :)