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wrybill
Proud wrybill | ngutuparore parents with chick and egg, Aoraki Mt Cook | Image: Philip Guilford
Proud wrybill | ngutuparore parents with chick and egg, Aoraki Mt Cook | Image: Philip Guilford

Did you know….?

  • Ngutuparore is our Māori name, but scientists call us Anarhynchus frontalis. 
  • We live only in Aotearoa, nowhere else in the world.
  • We breed on large braided rivers in central South Island from August-January.
  • We’re tiny; just 20–21cm long and weigh around 43–71 gm, so we’re very hard to see.
  • Our eggs are blue-grey and lightly speckled to look just like river stones and pebbles. We evolved this way to ‘hide-in-plain sight’ from large native predatory birds.
  • But introduced predators including cats, dogs, stoats, and hedgehogs can smell us very well, so they hunt and kill us and our chicks.
  • Many of our braided river habitats have been lost to agriculture or covered in weeds, so our population is declining.
Karikaas Cheese donate a portion of sales from their gold-medal award-winning ‘braided river bird series’ cheeses to the Ashley Rivercare Group to help protect wrybill and other endangered braided river birds. You can help by buying these very yummy cheeses online, through selected supermarkets or by asking your supermarket to stock them. Click on the image to see the full range including vegetarian options.