Wrybill Facts and Photos

Information about the Bird Wrybill

It lays its eggs among the rocks along rivers and distracts intruders by pretending to be in distress and moving away from its "nest".The wrybill or ngutuparore (Mori) Anarhynchus frontalis is a species of plover endemic to New Zealand. It is unique in that it is the only species of bird in the world with a beak that is bent sideways (always to the right).

The wrybill is a small, plump plover, measuring 20to 21cm (7.9-8.3in) in length and weighing between 43 and 71g (1.5-2.5oz). The plumage is slightly sexually dimorphic. The male has a white forehead and pale grey crown, nape, back, wings and tail and a white throat, breast, belly and rump, with a thin black band across the breast. This band is thinner in the female, and much less distinct in both sexes in the non-breeding season. The other difference between the sexes is a small black bar between the white forehead and the grey crown, which is present in the males but not the females. As with the breast band it is reduced in the non-breeding season. The most distinctive feature of the bird is the long black bill, which is always curved to the right. The wrybill is the only species of bird with an asymmetrically turned bill.
The wrybill is endemic to New Zealand. It breeds on large braided rivers in central South Island, preferring large dynamic rivers that will not become overgrown with weeds. It used to occur more frequently on smaller rivers, but has undergone a range contraction, and now only occupies around 60% of its estimated original range. After breeding, around late December till early February, they leave their breeding sites and migrate to shallow estuaries and sheltered coastal areas in the North Island.

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