15 He aha tērā? What is that?

The honking. The V-formation flying. The New Zealand population of these large birds with a distinctive white chin-strap is primarily descended from an importation of 50 birds in 1905. He aha tērā? What is that?

Two large birds by a lake, with black head and neck, white chin-strap, brown stripey bodies.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

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13 He aha tērā? What is that?

What a surprise and a delight to find this large all-white bird at Waikawa Beach. It’s not a Royal Spoonbill though. These critically endangered birds are usually found only at their breeding site, Okarito Lagoon on the West Coast, but one recently found its way to wetlands on Reay Mackay Grove. He aha tērā? What is that?

Large white bird with wings extended.
Photo by Kezna Cameron. Used with permission.

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Birds who visit

Spotted recently by Mike Norden of Waikawa Beach Road, this matuku moana, white-faced heron:

White faced heron on a fence.
White faced heron on a fence. Photo by Mike Norden and posted with permission.
White faced heron on a fence.
White faced heron on a fence. Photo by Mike Norden and posted with permission.
White faced heron looking upwards.
White faced heron looking upwards. Photo by Mike Norden and posted with permission.

Mike says on Facebook: Enjoying the company of the heron. Very friendly critter.

It visited Daniel Anderson in Walkers Lane too:

White faced heron in a yard.
White faced heron in a yard. Photo by Daniel Anderson and used with permission.

At least a couple of folks in the Strathnaver area have also reported visits by this bird (or perhaps another). Have you seen it at your place?

12 He aha tērā? What is that?

They dart and swoop around with their v-shaped wings and forked tails. They line up on wire fences. At certain times of the year you’ll find their mud nests above an outside light fitting, or high in the garage. He aha tērā? What is that?

Three small birds.
Photo by Stephen Betts. Used with permission.

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