After reading 'The Bush Supermarket" by Judy Stroud the X-Men, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy compared the fantail and the wood pigeon.
New Zealand is home to a range of birds that live nowhere else on earth. Our unique and remarkable native birds include the kiwi, weka, kotare, pukeko, takapu, tui, ruru and many more. Many of these birds are found in our native forests and bush. We are comparing two native birds, the fantail and the wood pigeon.
Maori named a lot of our native birds including the fantail and the wood pigeon. The Maori name for the wood pigeon is kereru and the name for fantail is either piwakawaka, tiwakawaka or piwaiwaka. Maori also have a long history of using native birds as a food source and for clothing. However it was only the wood pigeon that was used as a food source.
The fantail and wood pigeon are both located within the New Zealand bush. The wood pigeon is located at the top of the trees because this is where they can find, fruits, berries and nectar. The fantail is however located lower down amongst the ferns close to its food source.
Both the wood pigeon and the fantail feed on items found in the native bush. The fantails diet consists of flying insects, caterpillars and spiders. Whereas the wood pigeon’s diet consists of fruit, vegetable, juices, leaves, flowers and nectar. This is ideal food for a slow and noisy flyer like the wood pigeon.
Both birds have adapted differently to help them survive in the bush environment. The fantail has evolved to use its upright tail for hovering and has bristles around the beak that act like a small net. These features help the fantail to catch small insects. On the other hand the wood pigeon has features such as large wings to help it fly high in the trees to find fruits, berries and nectar.
Many New Zealand native birds have adapted to survive and thrive in their natural habitat, however some of our native birds are under threat from pests such as possums, and from humans through the destruction of native bush to make way for houses. We believe it is important to protect native species through the eradication of pests such as possums.