South Island snipeTutukiwi

Conservation status

The South Island snipe is described as "a shorebird gone bush" by New Zealand Birds Online. Its nocturnal aerial display, featuring a roar created by vibrating tailfeathers, has been associated with the mythological hakawai. Like the bush wren, the last refuge of the South Island snipe was Big South Cape Island. When rats arrived in 1964, the Wildlife Service attempted to catch snipe for translocation. Two males were captured, but died in captivity.

South Island snipe

Credit: Don Merton / Department of Conservation