Friendly Fantail

In the late afternoon we drove to Black Gully Reserve near Tapanui and did a short bush walk. While we paused on the track, a fantail came to visit and flitted about us (as fantails do), chirruping to us all the while. They flit constantly from side-to-side so my shots are far from ideal but good enough for you to see how cute they are! They do fan their tail out but usually when they’re in flight or more active than this. Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


Fantail or pīwakawaka (endemic to New Zealand)
~Rhipidura fuliginosa fuliginosa is the South Island sub-species.

Their little white eyebrows give them a lot of personality!

More Information

~from the Department of Conservation
(feature photo shows a fantail with its tail fanned out)

~from Forest and Bird (includes video showing young chicks being fed)


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

20 thoughts on “Friendly Fantail

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      1. The bird at the top, the Black-capped Chickadee is the one I was thinking of and is our state bird. They are relatively tame and if one makes the pishing sound, I have to spell that carefully, one might land on your finger, especially if you have seed in your hand…or on your hat.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. How interesting Steve! We have a small native owl called a morepork for the same reason – when they’re in the vicinity at night that’s what you hear “more-pork” hahaha – it’s actually pretty funny to hear 😀

            Liked by 1 person

    1. They have this funny hyperactive constant flitting motion going on, and a lot of loud chirping. They can look quite demanding and bossy! But very lovable little things 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the cool-looking markings on this bird, Liz, and that tail is amazing. Bird photography can be fun and frustrating and I think you got to experience both of those aspects of it with this active bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantails are personality+ and chatter, flit and dance all over the place, they never keep still! Of course everyone loves them 😀 but it’s incredibly difficult to get them in a photo! Apparently they hang around because they’re after the insects us humans disturb as we’re walking through the bush!

      Liked by 1 person

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