Recent Posts

Black backed gull in flight with wings down.

Karoro in flight

Hand held photos of a Karoro, Southern black-backed gull as it flew by. Black-backed gulls are often seen on the water’s edge where they scavenge corpses and fish frames washed up on the tide.

Lamprey (Geotria australis) being measured.

Rare native Lamprey in Waikawa Stream

According to a Horizons Regional Council article: DNA techniques reveal the full spectrum of river life: one of New Zealand’s rare native fish Lamprey (Geotria australis) has been discovered in waterways like the Waikawa Stream and reaches of the Ōhura River in the Horizons Region. The article also says: A technique called environmental DNA or eDNA for short, is helping…

Small stunned bird in hand, with bright yellow wingbars.

33 He aha tērā? What is that?

Adults of this almost sparrow-sized but lighter bird have a bright red, white and black face. It’s a pale coloured bird with a distinctive bright yellow stripe on its black wing. They’re often seen in flocks. If you hear a shrill, clear pee-yu, that’s this bird. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission. A…

Squat bird, dark above and light below with distinctive stubby black beak, atop a white structure. .

32 He aha tērā? What is that?

You may see this squat bird hunched on your washing line or on a power line. Or maybe it’ll suddenly dive down to the ground and come back up with a lizard or bug in its large black bill. Green above and creamy-beige below, you’ll know this bird when you see it. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by…

Large blue-tinted bird with white tufts at throat on a flax spear.

31 He aha tērā? What is that?

This boisterous, medium-sized dark coloured bird chortles and squawks, cough, grunts and wheezes when it’s not singing prettily. Commonly seen feeding on flax flowers, it has an erratic whirring flight. It’s best known though for the white tufts at its throat. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Kezna Cameron. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a tūī, kōkō: Identification:…

Small bird on flax spear.

30 He aha tērā? What is that?

This sparrow-sized bird may have a brick-red breast, a grey-blue head and stripes on its wings. Its call is a fairly simple ‘cheep’. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a pahirini, chaffinch: Identification: Length: 14.5 cm; Weight: 17.5 - 24.5 g Similar species: House sparrow A small songbird species in which…

Dabchick chick closeup.

Dabchick and chick

Sharp-eyed Kezna Cameron spotted this Dabchick and chick on the pond in early January 2022. Photo by Kezna Cameron and used with permission. Kezna says: Dabchick / weweia - 1,900-2000 left. Extinct from the South Island. The chick rides on the mother’s back for the first few weeks. So nice to see this baby on the pond today 🙂

Speckled bird on fence post.

29 He aha tērā? What is that?

This medium sized brown bird sings from treetops and forages for snails, worms, spiders and slugs. Its speckled chest is very distinctive. Most people will be familiar with this common bird. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Kezna Cameron. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a thrush: Identification: Length: 21 -23 cm; Weight: 70 g Similar species: Eurasian blackbird…