He aha tērā? What is that? 04

You see this large bird soaring above the paddocks, perhaps ‘squeaking’ sometimes. Or maybe it flies up in front of your car, from a dead rabbit on the road. He aha tērā? What is that?

A large brownish bird in flight with wings down.
Photo by Jan Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a kāhu, swamp harrier:

Identification: Length: 50 – 60 cm; Weight: 650 g (male), 850 g (female)

Similar species: New Zealand falcon, Black kite

A large long-legged harrier with long taloned toes, long pointed wings, prominent facial disks and a strongly hooked bill. Adults have a tawny-brown back, pale cream streaked breast, yellow eyes, yellow cere and a creamy white rump visible in flight; juvenile and immature birds are uniformly dark chococlate brown.

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Waikawa Beach or Manakau

New Zealand

Other