21 He aha tērā? What is that?

You’ll see these large elegant all-white birds sweeping their long black bills with rounded ends through the water in the estuary or the lakes. The crest on the tops of their heads gives them a regal appearance. He aha tērā? What is that?

Two large white birds and two small black and white birds wading by the beach.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a kōtuku ngutupapa, royal spoonbill:

Identification: Length: 74 – 81 cm; Weight: 1.4 – 2.0 kg

Similar species: Yellow-billed spoonbill, White heron

A large white heron-like bird with long black legs and a large black spoon-shaped bill. In breeding plumage it has long white crest feathers on the nape.

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Waikawa Beach or Manakau

New Zealand