Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)


Snares Fernbird (Poodytes caudatus)


French: Mégalure des Snares German: Snaresfarnsänger Spanish: Yerbera de las Snares

Sphenœacus caudatus


, 1894,

Snares Islands


Previously placed in Megalurus or Bowdleria. Hitherto treated as conspecific with P. punctatus, but differs in its much larger bill and size generally (on published data#R male effect size vs next largest form wilsoni 3.18, score 2); rather shorter tail (male effect size vs wilsoni –0.87, score 1); much plainer (less streaked), more rufous crown, with weaker streaking on upperparts (2); more extensive and richer-toned ochraceous-tawny flanks (2); and paler brown tail (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Snares Is (S of Stewart I), New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 30·5–40·4 g. A secretive, almost uniformly brown and boldly streaked, small-bodied warbler with moderately long and graduated tail, rectrices distinctly pointed and... read more


Vocabulary quite extensive. Song an insignificant little warble, not often heard. Usually proclaims... read more


Nests in rushes, tussac grass (Poa tennantiana and P. astonii), kokomuka (... read more

Food and feeding

Diet (both adults and young) principally consists of invertebrates, including crustaceans, spiders, mites, ticks and various insects (... read more


Egg-laying chiefly from mid-Oct until late Feb, but tends to be single-brooded. Monogamous and pair-bond typically survives at least two... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. The commonest landbird on the Snares archipelago, with density of up to 8 pairs/ha, but total numbers are estimated at just 1500 pairs. In addition to main island... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Snares Fernbird (Poodytes caudatus). 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 16 January 2019).