Body length: 20 - 21 cm
48 - 68 g
Estimated at 4,500 - 5,000
Shallow estuaries on sheltered coasts; breeds along fast flowing rivers
Curves ahead. There's no mistaking New Zealand's wrybill, the only bird in the world to sport a literally curved bill. It uses this bill, which always curves to the right, to scoop up meals of mayfly larvae, flatworms, spiders, fish eggs and more. During the winter months, the wrybill forages during both night and day; its heavy-set frame is evidence of a tireless quest for food. But signs are not promising for the continued survival of this singular bird, faced as it is with serious habitat loss in addition to predation by stoats and cats.