Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Corvida
Superfamily: Mohouoidae
Matthews, 1946
Family: Mohouidae
Matthews, 1946
Genus: Mohoua
Lesson, 1837

See text.

Mohouidae is a family of birds in which Mohoua and Finschia are the only genera of three bird species endemic to New Zealand.


The Latin genus name is taken from either mohuahua or momohua - both Māori names for the Yellowhead.[1]


The Mohouas have been included in many families, including Paridae,[2] Timaliidae,[2] Orthonychidae,[2] Campephagidae,[2] Sylviidae,[2] Maluridae,[2]
Acanthizidae (=Pardalotidae[2]) and Pachycephalidae[2] (as a subfamily, Mohouinae.[3])


The Pipipi, or Brown Creeper is now placed in Finschia;[2] however, it is sometimes included in Mohoua.[3]


All three species display some degree of sexual dimorphism in terms of size, with the males being the larger of the two sexes.[4]


Mohoua are gregarious (more so outside the breeding season) and usually forage in groups . They also forage in mixed species flocks at times, frequently forming the nucleus of such flocks.[1] Unlike most species of Pachycephalidae, social organization and behaviour is well documented for all three Mohoua species; Cooperative breeding has been observed in all three species and is common in the Whitehead and Yellowhead.[1] The three species of this genus are the sole hosts for the Long-tailed Cuckoo which acts as a Brood parasite upon them, pushing their eggs out of the nest and laying a single one of its own in their place so that they take no part in incubation of their eggs or in raising their young.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds"; Volume 7, edited by Peter Higgins, OUP, 2000
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h John H. Boyd III (November 4, 2011). "CORVIDA I Psophodidae through Malaconotidae". TiF Checklist. Retrieved 27-11-2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b (Subscription required) Boles, W. (2016). Whistlers (Pachycephalidae). 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 1 March 2016).
  4. ^ a b Barrie Heather and Hugh Robertson, "The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand" (revised edition), Viking, 2005

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