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Saddleback, Tiritiri Matangi, New Zealand | by *amy&kimball
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Saddleback, Tiritiri Matangi, New Zealand

More endangered and threatened New Zealand bird photos at www.keaphotography.org

 

The saddleback is endemic to New Zealand. The Saddleback's cheeky nature is reflected in the Maori legend that tells of how the bird acquired its distinctive chestnut saddle of colour. Fresh from his battle to ensnare the sun, a thirsty Maui (a virtual demi-god in Maori folklore) asked the Tieke to bring him some water. The bird rudely pretended not to hear his request, at which Maui, becoming angry, seized it with his still fiery hand, leaving a brown scorch mark across its back.

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Taken on February 24, 2010