30 He aha tērā? What is that?

This sparrow-sized bird may have a brick-red breast, a grey-blue head and stripes on its wings. Its call is a fairly simple ‘cheep’. He aha tērā? What is that?

Sparrow-sized bird with red breast and striped wings, sitting on a flax stem.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

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Answer: it’s a pahirini, chaffinch:

Identification: Length: 14.5 cm; Weight: 17.5 – 24.5 g

Similar species: House sparrow

A small songbird species in which males are brightly coloured in spring-summer with a brick-red breast and chestnut mantle, greyish-blue crown and nape, black wings with a prominent white wing-bar and shoulder patch. Males are duller in winter while females are dull brownish-grey with similar wing markings year-round; both sexes have white outer tail-feathers that show during flight.

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