Status: Nationally Vulnerable
Wrybill breed on large braided rivers in central South Island from August-January. They prefer large dynamic rivers that will not become overgrown with weeds. Once prevalent on smaller rivers, the wrybill’s range as contracted to about 60% of its estimated original habitat (distribution map).
The wrybill or ngutuparore (Māori) Anarhynchus frontalis is a species of plover endemic to New Zealand. It is unique in that it is the only species of bird in the world with an asymmetrically bent bill, which it uses to dig around river stones for freshwater invertebrates.
Measuring 20–21cm long and weighing between 43–71gm, the wrybill is slightly sexually dimorphic. The most distinctive feature of the bird is the long black bill, which is always curved to the right.
Their eggs are blue-grey and lightly speckled, making them well camouflaged against river stones and pebbles, which generally make up the main structure of a very simple nest.
- 2019 (DOC): Rangitata update (BRaid seminar)
- 2016-2017: (DOC): DOC report on wrybill and black-fronted tern nesting success
- See Ecology/references
- 1998: Hughey Nesting home range sizes of Wrybill and Banded Dotterel in relation to braided riverbed characteristics Notornis 45 pp 103-108 (Open access)
- 1997: Hughey The diet of Wrybill and Banded Dotterel, Notornis 44 pp 185-193 (Open access PDF)