Chatham Island fernbird, (lower bird) from Buller's Birds of New Zealand, , 1st ed., 1873.
“This bird was dicovered by Mr Charles Traill in 1868 on Mangere Island in the Chatham Group. Traill observed a small bird among the grass and stunted vegetation and knocked it over with a stone. It was forwarded to Buller who described it as a new species. In 1871, H.H. Travers found the species to be not uncommon on Mangere.
“Through burning and the introduction of cats on Pitt Island and collectors on Mangere, the Chatham Island fernbird became extinct 25 years after its discovery.
“The only information regarding the habits of this bird comes from Travers. He say that ‘he only found this bird on Mangere... Its peculiar habit of hopping rapidly from one point of concealment to another renders it difficult to secure. It has a peculiar whistle, very like that which a man would use in order to attract attention of another at some distance. It also uses the same cry as Sphenoeacus punctatus. It is solitary in its habits and appears to live exclusively on insects.’”
Its next living relatives are the Snares Fernbird, Bowdleria caudata and the New Zealand Fernbird, Bowdleria punctata.
A specimen was shot for a collection by Lionel Walter Rothschild in 1895.
Baron Lionel Walter Rothchild's Extinct Birds, 1907; Black robin, Chatham Island fernbird, Stephens Island wrens.
18 cm in length, unspotted underparts, chestnut brown crest, distinct white loral spot, dark red-brown upperparts, feet yellowish brown, bill brown.
Buller, W.R., Birds of New Zealand, 1st ed., 1873.
Extinct Birds, Baron Lionel Walter Rothchild, London, Hutchinson and Co, 1907.
Oliver, W.R.B., New Zealand Birds, 1955.
Friday, 6 October, 2023; ver2023v1