Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


Did you know that a fantail weighs just 8 grams, or less than half a chocolate fish?! What the fantail lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in character. So it is not surprising that this bird, which is the NZ Garden Bird Survey mascot, is also your second favourite garden bird.

Scientific name: Rhipidura fuliginosa
Other names: New Zealand fantail, grey fantail, pied fantail, black fantail, pīwaiwaka, pīwakawaka, tīrairaka, tīwakawaka, tītakataka, hīwaiwaka

New Zealand Status: Native (Endemic)
Conservation Status: Not threatened

Where they feed: Shrubs, trees and in the air.
What they eat: Invertebrates, fruit

Garden types

Fantails are seen in more rural (70%) gardens than urban (50%) ones. The chance of finding a fantail in an urban garden also decreases where people feed birds.

Garden location

Fantails are least likely to be seen in gardens in the eastern and southern regions of the South Island. They are most likely to be found in gardens in Northland, Gisborne and Tasman regions.