Fantail, Pīwakawaka

Rhipidura fuliginosa
Bird Songs
Fantail/pīwakawaka song


The fantail/pīwakawaka is one of New Zealand's best known birds, with its distinctive fanned tail, loud song and friendly behaviour. 

Fantails/pīwakawaka occur in two colours: the common pied form and the rarer black form. Adult pied birds have a greyish head, prominent white eyebrows, brown back and rump, cinnamon breast and belly, white and black bands across the upper breast, and an iconic black and white tail. Black pīwakawaka are mostly black and may have black-brown over the rump, belly and flight feathers. They make up less than 5% of individuals across the South Island.

Find out more about fantails/pīwakawaka

Fantail/pīwakawaka in pied form. Credit: Oscar Thomas. Fantail/pīwakawaka in black form. Credit: Oscar Thomas.