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Habitat use in Autumn by forest birds on South East Island, Chatham Islands

  • Publication Type

    Journal Article

  • Publication Year


  • Author(s)

    C.F.J. O'Donnell; P.J. Dilks

  • Journal Name


  • Volume, Issue

    40, 4

  • Pagination


  • Article Type



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Habitat use in Autumn by forest birds on South East Island, Chatham Islands

Notornis, 40 (4), 247-252

C.F.J. O'Donnell; P.J. Dilks (1993)

Article Type: paper



Feeding observations of four species of Chatham Island endemic forest birds, Chatham Island Red-crowned Parakeet, Chatham Island Warbler, Chatham Island Tit and Chatham Island Tui, were collected on South East (Rangatira) Island in March and April 1990. The autumn foraging patterns of the forest species were very different. Parakeets had a broad omnivorous diet, Warbler and Tit were entirely insectivorous, and Tui fed mainly on fruit and some invertebrates. Parakeets used the widest variety of food plant species, including those from both forest and saltmeadow habitats. the Tui was the most plant-specific forager, with over 60% of feeding in one forest tree species. Because food availability changes throughout the year, other plant species will probably be important at different times. All birds fed at relatively low levels in the forest, often on the ground. This behaviour would make them particularly vulnerable to predation and may explain why the birds have now almost gone from other islands of the Chathams group.