The rifleman is the smallest of our native birds. It’s an insect feeder and most often seen foraging amongst the trunk, branches and leaves of our larger trees. It is seldom still, and even on the perch will continually “flit” from one side to the other. It’s song is very high pitched, at around 24k cps, and so well above many peoples hearing range, and certainly mine. I once took a bat detector to a nest, and dialed down the input sound frequency to 24 k and heard it’s call, which reminded me of polystyrene rubbed on glass. . The female is grey/brown with greenish lower body, while the male is a predominantly grass green. The tail is so short as to vanish beneath the wings at rest. The beak has a slight upwards tilt. Nesting is in a hole in a tree, usually quite low down. All nests I have observed have hatched in mid December. A family together looks like a swarm of bumblebees, they are so small.
weight….. around 6 gm
Banded, so one of the birds transferred to Ulva Island
Seen at the nest entrance, note the white underhead and breast
Seen at the nest entrance, notice the upper head and back colour.
Tiny wings, and showing the very short tail
The only time I have ever seen one feeding on the forest floor
But we now produce 100 % of our electrical needs, and are completely "Off Grid", Excess electricity is used to heat our domestic hot water and central heating system and this has cut our non renewable heating fuel usage to around 20% of pre solar.. All cooking is electric, no more LPG. See More .......
Kowhai Lane is also Solar powered,
Kowhai Lane is "Grid Tied" Excess production is used to heat water. Production beyond the house requirements is exported, thus cutting diesel use in the wider grid. At night Kowhai Lane Lodge receives power from the grid.
Like Sails Ashore, all cooking is electric,,,,, No LPG