Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is 1 kilometer from home and we visited there on Saturday. This White Heron or Kotuku has taken up residence.
Going fishing for food
Sorry no video as I only had a little point and shoot camera.
The Kotuku is famous as a rare bird in New Zealand. It lives naturally at Okarito on the West Coast in a special reserve area. Single birds or pairs occasionally cross the high mountain range to the East Coast areas (where I live) to go fishing and have a holiday before heading back home.
Links for more information
That is a very beautiful bird - what an honour to have it visit!
What a delight to have such a special bird take up residence so close to where you live! I'm off to read more about it.
Hi Alan, thanks for showing us this rare bird in his natural habitat. I scrolled down and was wowed by the Sandersonia. Those seeds were on my order but got deleted at the last minute, deciding that they would not grow here in Tennessee, USA. Now I am sorry. BTW, we have friends who live in NZ, Milford, Auckland. I have heard it is the closest thing to paradise there. :-)
HI Alan, great photos of the Kotuku - this bird must have been one of the early breeders this year - I live at Okarito and my partner and I run the Okarito Boat Tours on the Okarito Lagoon - www.okaritoboattours.co.nz. We see these birds feeding on the lagoon year round,but especially now as the young are coming off the nests. You can tell your bird was a breeding bird as he/she still has a black tip on the bill. When breeding, the bill turns entirely black as well they develop beautiful lacey plumage feathers. The juveniles right now have bright yellow/orange bills - beautiful birds to see on the water! Although we retain a resident population here in Okarito year round, many of the birds disperse predominantly up and down the West Coast, but some as far as the North Island and over to you on the East. Can you keep us posted on your bird's activity? would love to know if he sticks around from now on or if he's just popped over for a visit. Cheers,
Alan, The white heron is beautiful. We have great blue herons here; and when I go for my walk in the morning and see a heron fishing in the river near my house, it always feels to me like a blessing on the day. -Jean
Graceful and beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
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