Family Mohouas (Mohouidae)


Yellowhead (Mohoua ochrocephala)


French: Mohoua à tête jaune German: Gelbköpfchen Spanish: Mohoua cabecigualda

Muscicapa ochrocephala

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand


Sometimes treated as conspecific with M. albicilla (which see). Monotypic.


New Zealand: South I, formerly widespread; apparently extinct on Stewart I.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 28–32 g. Has head and neck bright yellow, crown and hindneck with varying amounts of olive mottling; upperparts olive-brown, grading to olive on... read more


Song 6–8 musical, rapidly repeated, frequently varied, trilled notes; rattle of rapid... read more


Native southern beech (Nothofagus) forest, preferably large tracts with open understorey;... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, mainly insects; also small fruits and nectar. Feeds mainly in middle to upper layers, in subcanopy and canopy: less than 4%... read more


Season Oct–Feb, most eggs Nov–Dec; double-brooded. Breed as monogamous pair, usually with one helper. Territorial while... read more


Local seasonal movements, usually in winter flocks; moves along same elevation, also descends from... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restrictedrange species: present in South Island of New Zealand EBA. Uncommon and very patchily distributed; restricted to large tracts of native forest, mainly... read more

Recommended citation

Boles, W. (2019). Yellowhead (Mohoua ochrocephala). 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 25 March 2019).