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The hihi - something to smile about

One of New Zealand's rarest birds has come back from the brink of extinction thanks to a conservation project on an island near Auckland.

The hihi is one of the country's most colourful songbirds yet few people have ever seen one. That's because it had disappeared from the mainland and survived in tiny numbers on just one island sanctuary.

Something had to be done.  So in the mid-1990s, scientists and volunteers began moving some of the birds to another island - Tiritiri Matangi. 

For the last 20 years, the hihi have been selectively bred and monitored from the time they hatch. Such has been the success of the project, the hihi are now being reintroduced back on to the mainland from Tiri.