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"The Hihi" is a children's poem by Eileen Duggan, published in New Zealand Bird Songs in 1929. 


The HihiEdit

“In the days when I was young,” said Topine Te Mamaku,
“Every little bough was bent with birds.”
Very old, very tired, was Topine Te Mamaku.
Hear his words.

“You have seen the Kahu Kiwi,
The down of the Kiwi,
On a rangatira, proud and bold.
But oh, had you seen the Kahu Hihi
Oh, had you seen the mat of gold!”

“It was like the western sky,” said Topine Te Mamaku
“It was like a kowhai burning on the tree.
For the down of the Hihi,” said Topine Te Mamaku
Is as yellow as the comb of the bee.”

“Ah, stately the Kiwi,
The down of the Kiwi,
Though its hue is dark, and dun and cold,
But oh, had you seen the Kahu Hihi.
Oh, had you seen the cloth of gold!”

“You will seldom see it now,” said Topine Te Mamaku
“It has dipped its little wings in the stain of the sky,
And its down is cloth of gold,” said Topine TeMamaku
With a sigh.

“You have seen the Kahu Kiwi,
The royal old Kiwi,
But there was a prouder mat of old.
Like the dust of the Flax-flower was the Kahu Hihi,
Oh, had you seen the cloak of gold!”

Male Hihi

Male hihi

Female Hihi

Female hihi

NotesEdit

This section is incomplete.

Hihi is the Maori name for the native stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta). It is known for its distinctive "Hi-hi" call. It is listed as a vulnerable species (threatened) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.[1]


ReferencesEdit

  1. BirdLife International (2013). "Notiomystis cincta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

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