Rifleman – Titipounamu

Carving: Rifleman (male)

Date: 2018

Location: Private collection Cromwell. Email me to commission a similar piece.

THE CARVING: A rifleman. Carved from Totara that used to be a fencepost from the Maniototo. Eyes are onyx, legs cast metal and carving painted with artist acrylics.

Set upon found wood.

Hangs on the wall with a nail or hook.

The birds

THE BIRD: Endemic to New Zealand. The rifleman is generally considered to be New Zealand’s smallest bird (the equally light-weight grey warbler has a longer tail).

It is one of only two surviving species within the ancient endemic New Zealand wren family (the other remaining species being the rock wren). Riflemen are small forest-dwelling insectivores, and are constantly on the move, producing a characteristic ‘wing-flicking’ while moving through the canopy and foraging up and down tree trunks.

South Island riflemen are found throughout forests of the main divide, but are less common in the east of the South Island, and extinct on Stewart Island (apart from Codfish and Ulva Islands).

The North Island rifleman survives as geographically isolated populations on North Island mountain ranges, with only three populations north of Kaimai Forest Park (Warawara Forest in Northland, and on Little Barrier and Tiritiri Matangi Islands).


Life size. Wall mounted.