Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tara-iti or New Zealand Fairy Tern

With a  population of around 45 individuals that includes approximately 12 breeding pairs, the New Zealand fairy tern is probably New Zealand's most endangered indigenous breeding bird.
It is ranked as an endangered species, and carries a "Category A" priority for conservation action.  A Department of Conservation Recovery Plan is currently in action.
The New Zealand fairy tern/tara-iti is the smallest tern breeding in New Zealand with adults measuring around 250mm in length and weighing a mere 70 gms.
During the breeding season NZ fairy terns are easily picked out be their black caps (coming around in front of the eye), soft grey feathers, white chest, yellow bill and orange legs.
In non-breeding plumage the crown fades into a mottled black and white, the bill fades to a dull orange-brown and the legs fade to a dull orange colour.
These delicate sea birds nest over the summer period on the rugged West Coast beaches and at two sites on the east coast of Northland, Mangawhai and Papakanui Spit. 
Information from Department of Conservation.

The scarves representing Kokako, Kereru and Tara-iti were woven in a false damask (2 blocks of 4 shafts each) with basket weave selvedges and a double weave hem using 16 shafts altogether.  All the merino was hand dyed.


  1. Hi Dianne Lovely collection of scarves and I'm really enjoying the details about all the different birds

    1. Hope you still do after kotare post. xx