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Musings from Middle Earth (5)

Many More Strange Birds

First of all, the bird in front of the New Zealand fur seal in my second musing was an oyster catcher, not a pukeko. We finally saw a pukeko in our campsite in Rotorua on the North Island. I chased it to get this photo while it squawked and screamed and even reluctantly flew a few feet to get away from me.

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Later it was joined by many more of its strange, big-footed friends (its best feature, which I unfortunately did not get in this shot.)

I never saw another weka after the one that trapped me in the van, not even in the bird sanctuary we visited near Waitomo Caves. I did, however, see a spur-winged plover, a white-faced heron, owls, falcons, pigeons, kingfishers, each and every bird a little different from ours. Even the mallard ducks seemed bigger than ours, but New Zealand has its own native duck called a whio.

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We also saw a kiwi at the sanctuary, but we were not allowed to take pictures, as they are nocturnal animals and were not to be disturbed. We watched the feisty kiwi get fed though, and she put on quite a show, attacking and kicking the feeder. I thought, “What a stupid bird! Biting the hand that feeds it!” but then I thought she still gets fed, but now she gets the enjoyment of our laughter behind the glass. Not so stupid after all.

We saw many black swans in New Zealand, but not one white swan.

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The one black bird we did not see in NZ, however, was the crow, so there was no use for this guy:-

scarecrow at Hobbiton

scarecrow at Hobbiton

Besides the many black birds, I saw and heard some colourful ones in the wild on our last day in Auckland, this one–the red-crowned parrot.

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