October 2016 – the birds are back

Spring is here. The shining cuckoos are calling in the forest. They have spent the winter in the Solomon Islands and flown thousands of kilometres to breed here in our summer.


The riroriro or grey warblers are singing too. The female cuckoo will follow their song to find a riroriro nest to lay her egg. But all is not lost for riroriro for after they have fostered the cuckoo chick they will nest again and raise their own chicks.

Kotare the kingfisher is repeating his harsh squark-squark-squark. In winter when insects are few in the forest, kingfishers migrate to the lowlands and the coast. On the mudflats they find a vantage point like a log to perch on and spot crabs to catch. Now summer is coming many kingfishers are moving inland to find banks or rotten trees to dig their nests.

Visiting kaka are back too. Like kotare they find winter food in the lowlands, sometimes in gardens and orchards, and now they are returning to eat flowers and buds in the forest. Perhaps a pair of kaka will find a nesting place at Aongatete and they may be the first tenants in the nesting box we have built. Either way our pest control will greatly enhance their chances of returning to Aongatete to nest and breed some local kaka chicks.

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