Birds of the Wairarapa and where to see them
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Field guide to the birds of Lake Ferry and Palliser Bay

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Australasian Gannet (Sula serrator)

Description: Large brilliant white birds with buff orange heads and black trailing edges and tips of wings. Several may dive repeatedly into a shoal of fish in company with and . The numbers breeding at the Cape Kidnappers colony in Hawke's Bay are increasing significantly.

Habitat: Solitary birds seen cruising off-shore. Make spectacular dives from 15 metres up into the water to catch fish.

Black Shag (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Description: Our largest shag which is found worldwide. Appears black at a distance with yellowish facial skin and white cheeks. In sunlight wing feathers are coppery-bronze. They bring catch to the surface where fish are juggled until it can be swallowed head-first.

Habitat: Commonly seen on rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters actively diving for prey.

Size: 90 cm

Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans)

Description: Large brown hawk. Food is a mix of live prey - small birds, rabbits and a lot of road killed carrion (possums, hares, hedgehogs). Wary birds and avoid humans.

Habitat: Usually seen soaring singly over farmland, open country or swamps. Commonly patrols roads and a lot of young birds killed by cars.

Size: 55 cm

New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae)

Description: Fast-flying brown bird of prey which lives entirely on captured live prey, especially small birds and rabbits. Small birds immediately become silent if they see a in vicinity. Will fearlessly attack humans if they approach nest site. Will often perch motionless on look out for prey.

Habitat: Are probably more widespread than is thought as they are fast-flying and most active in early morning and evening. They do not hover whilst hunting like the . Regularly breed at the Pinnacles.

Californian Quail (Lophortyx californicus)

Description: Small grey brown partridge with black throat outlined below with white crescent and forward curving crest plume. Found in family groups and display noisy whirring flight if startled. Male has three syllable call "where are you-where are you" Large clutches of 12 or more eggs laid on ground under cover. Chicks may be seen running in single file following a parent.

Habitat: Frequents willow, broom, gorse, blackberry patches along rivers.

Banded Dotterel (Charardrius bicinctus)

Description: A starling-sized brown bird with white underparts on which are black throat and reddish-chestnut bands. Defends nesting territory vigorously against dotterels of same species.

Habitat: Inhabits sandy beaches and stony riverbeds.

Size: 20 cm

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