Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)


Chatham Fernbird (Poodytes rufescens)


French: Mégalure des Chatham German: Chathamfarnsänger Spanish: Zarzalero de las Chatham

Sphenœacus rufescens


, 1869,

a small rock isle, a satellite of Chatham Island


Usually considered a race of P. punctatus, but sometimes treated as separate species (perhaps more closely related to Fijian Megalurulus rufus). Differed from P. punctatus in its white vs brown-streaked grey chin to lower belly (4); strong rufescent tone of upperparts, wings, tail and flanks (2); bolder, blacker streaks on upperparts and flanks (2); and osteological features#R. Close in size to P. caudatus, which was previously also treated as a race of P. punctatus. Monotypic.


Pitt I and Mangere I, in Chatham Is, New Zealand.

The last record was from around 1892, soon after which the species is thought to have become extinct#R. The major causes were loss of its low brushland habitat through burning and through overgrazing by introduced goats and rabbits, and predation by cats and rats.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

(2019). Chatham Fernbird (Poodytes rufescens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 May 2019).