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The Tomtit (Miromiro)


Find out about these cute birds often found in many parts of New Zealand bush. They are always great to spot out there on some awesome hikes



Tomtits are tiny, quick balls of fluff that bounce through the treetops. They can be found in the Southern Alps or dense west coast bush in New Zealand [1] .They are always a great addition to our native forests, being very friendly and approachable. There are two species of tomtit commonly found on mainland New Zealand, and [however many] smaller variants on offshore islands [1]. They are small birds weighing an average of 11 g and reaching approximately 13 cm in length [1]. The North Island tomtit is stark black and white, with a black head and wings and white wing bars and underside. The South Island tomtit and other species have a yellow underside but are otherwise the same as their North Island species [2] . Each tomtit can produce up to three broods each breeding season, which extends from September to February [1]. Their eggs are white in colour, speckled with grey-brown spots [2].


The diet of the tomtit is made up of small invertebrates such as flies, spiders, beetles and moths [1]. It also includes small fruits and berries, but these make up less of their diet. When foraging, they search for food in all canopy levels and scan from trunks and branches [1]. Tomtits can be found throughout New Zealand in our native coastal forests to our alpine scrub habitats. They often nest close to ground which makes them vulnerable to the ground foraging mammalian predators such as stoats, rats and possums [2]. Trapping, baiting and other pest control methods are the best way to control these pest species and give our tomtits the best chance of survival.

Make sure to keep a lookout for these cute tomtits on your next bush walk!

[1] https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/tomtit-miromiro/

[2] http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/tomtit


Oscar is a mechanical engineer who recently graduated from AUT, with a focus in recycling for his penultimate projects. He is passionate about sustainability in all walks of life and is looking to integrate it into his future jobs. You could find Oscar eating every type mushroom possible, while coming up with quirky home projects that almost get completed. If an outdoor/ sporting activity is not completed every week that’s a sign it’s not Oscar.

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