Tomtit, Ngirungiru

Petroica macrocephala
Bird Songs
South Island Tomtit male song


New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Not Threatened

The tomtit/ngirungiru is a small forest bird with a large head, found only in New Zealand and offshore islands.

A small songbird with a large head and small black tail. Adult males have a black head, upper breast and back, black wings with a white bar and white underparts. The South Island variety of male tomtits have some yellow colouration on the lower breast and belly. Adult females are brown over the head, back and wings with a white wingbar. The upper chest is fawn, fading to white on the belly.

They are often heard giving contact calls or males singing, but are sometimes difficult to see. Tomtits can be quite trusting and may come within a few metres of visitors.

In Dunedin, they are found most commonly around Ross Creek Reservoir, Signal Hill, and Mt Cargill Reserve, sometimes venturing into the Town Belt and Botanic Gardens. 

Find out more about tomtits/ngirungiru

Adult male tomtit. Credit: Oscar Thomas. Adult female tomtit. Credit: Oscar Thomas.