05 He aha tērā? What is that?

You’ll be very lucky to ever see this large long-legged bird as it prefers to hide. You may see it in grass near water, or ‘sloping’ across the road. If you listen closely on a still night you may hear its faint booming call. It’s been spotted or heard a few times around Waikawa Beach. He aha tērā? What is that?

Brown stripy bird in grass.
Photo by Sally Maclean. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a matuku-hūrepo, Australasian bittern:

Identification: Length: 74 cm; Weight: Males 1400 g, females 900 g

Similar species: Nankeen night heron, Little bittern

A large, stocky heron with a thick neck, heavy yellowish bill and relatively short yellow legs. The beige plumage has dark brown streaking and mottling, and there is a buff eye-stripe on the mainly dark head.

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Waikawa Beach or Manakau

New Zealand