BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book


Order Passeriformes   Family Acanthisittidae

The New Zealand wrens, Acanthisittidae, are a family of tiny passerines endemic to New Zealand. They are understood to form a distinct lineage within the passerines, but authorities differ on their assignment to the oscines or suboscines (the two suborders that between them make up the Passeriformes). More recent studies suggest that they form a third, most ancient, suborder Acanthisitti and have no living close relatives at all. They are called "wrens" due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens (Troglodytidae), but are not members of that family.

They fly poorly which has caused all but two species to become extinct.

Genus Acanthisitta - 1 species

Rifleman   Acanthisitta chloris   Found: New Zealand
The Rifleman has whitish underparts, supercilium; short and rounded wings; long and thin bill. Male has bright green upperparts. Female has brownish upperparts; head and back flecked with ochre. It is a poor flier.
Image by: 1) Walter Buller  1, 2) DigitalTrails
1) Female  2) Male

Genus Xenicus  - 1 species

Wren,_South Island   also  New Zealand Rockwren   Xenicus gilviventris   Found: South Island of New Zealand
The South Island Wren is a poor flier, rarely flying more than two metres off the ground or for distances or more than 30 m. It is highly terrestrial, feeding in low scrub and open scree and rockfalls in alpine areas.
Image by: 1) Andrew  2) Wynston_Cooper  3) Andrej_Chudy

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