Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today I had an animated conversation with a squeaky piwakawaka and was nearly bowled over by a kamikaze kereru.

The daily presence of these birds makes all the more poignant Hugh Wilson's observation that "the peninsula was once home to moa, kiwi, eagle, pelican, kokako, saddleback, kaka, kakariki, robin, fernbird, mohua, piopio and a host of other birds too numerous to number." (Land very fertile, eds. C Atkinson, D. Gregory)

All the more reason for cherishing those birds we have left...


  1. Love the birds- and the are coming back. Kereru, for example: there are not many, but I recently saw 7 together- sitting on the powerlines in Ohinetahi. That's more than I can remember seeing in one place, ever in my life.
    Sadly, found a the carcass of a dead pigeon since then. I don't know if a hawk killed it, but it had certainly been demolished by a harrier. Picked up some lovely wing and tail-feathers- saddened, but also thinking: more live pigeons will mean more dead pigeons, too. And the bellbirds were everywhere, and then, maybe 20 minutes later, there was the whiiirrrrr of pigeon-wings in the tagasaste...

  2. Ah, I had to look up Tagasaste - didn't know it meant tree lucerne. The only place I have seen anything like 7 kereru together swinging on the powerlines, was Stewart Island. They have a very low flight path over my place - sometimes just a metre or so above head-height - hence kamikaze! Brilliant.