This flycatcher topped Bird of the Year in 2006. Their charm won us over by being indifferent towards humans as we walk past or watch quietly, particularly when it comes to building their beautiful and detailed nest – scrutinising cobwebs, mossy greens, and skeletons of leaves before constructing their snug, fern-lined home.
Chiara van Gorkom
Have you ever made eye contact with a fantail/pīwakawaka? With their bushy yet stylish eyebrows, it can feel like these round fluffballs are challenging you to a staring contest. And they might win, if it wasn't for the fact that these birds are always moving! Every part of this bird maximises agility in the air.
Sure, there may be an element of showing-off when they do backflips around you, but what they're really interested in is the tiny insects that you're stirring up. You may find yourself being joyfully followed by fantail when you go for a walk in the bush! When you're having a bad day, this feeling of cheery support is exactly what you need.
Pīwakawaka/Fantail: The bird for the people. #FantailBOTY