Habitat use of a forest bird community was studied in temperate rainforests in South Westland, New Zealand between 1983 and 1985. This paper examines foraging methods, feeding stations and seasonal variations in the availability and use of food types and provides a brief review of the subject. The forest bird community was comprised of a large number of apparently generalist feeders and few dietary specialists. However, the degree of foraging specialisation should not be viewed only in relation to the food types consumed.
The yellowhead, a forest-dwelling passerine endemic to the South Island of New Zealand, has declined in both abundance and range since the arrival of European settlers last century. In the last 30 years it has all but disappeared from the northern half of the South Island but remains widespread in the south. One possible explanation is that the yellowhead has declined in abundance throughout its range, disappearing from less suitable habitats in which it was never very abundant. To test this hypothesis a habitat suitability index was constructed and northern and southern forests compared.