Birds of the Wairarapa and where to see them
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Field guide to the birds of Holdsworth Lodge

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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 .

New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae)

Description: Our largest pigeon. Head, throat, upper breast and upper parts metallic green with touches of purple and bronze. Belly white. Distinctive noisy flight in bush and spectacular courtship displays when either bird flies upwards, stalls and dives with stiff outstretched wings. Fruit eaters preferring those of miro, tawa, puriri, coprosma and titoki. Can devastate plum trees and also fond of flowers and leaves of kowhai, tree lucerne, laburnum and broom. Relatively trusting and can be approached quite closely.

Habitat: Look for high up in fruiting trees.

Size: 50 cm

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius)

Description: Perhaps our most colourful parrot, with a mix of scarlet, yellow, black, blue and green. Rapid flight where long tail is obvious. Chattering calls plus clear almost bell-like whistles easily imitated and bitds will often call back. A resourceful bird which eats seeds, fruit, buds and insects. Introduced from Australia, it can be destructive in orchards.
Habitat: Well established in Tararua foothills and from here have spread eastward to Masterton, Greytown and beyond. Favour open lightly timbered country with scattered Totara.

Kaka (Nestor meridionalis)

Description: Large olive-green forest parrot with reddish brown underparts and bright red under wings obvious in flight. They are inquisitive birds and can tear up rotten logs with their strong beaks in their search for grubs. They will also eat seeds, fruit and nectar.

Habitat: In the Tararua Forest Park the Kaka is not commonly seen, but the harsh grating call is not infrequently heard.

Size: 45 cm

Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae)

Description: Bright green parrot with scarlet forehead. Feeds on seeds (often on the ground) fruits, nectar, shoots and insects. Uncommon now on mainland as they are hole nesters and commonly ground feeders and consequently very prone to predation by cats, stoats and rats.

Habitat: More often heard than seen in bush by their "ki-ki-ki" call as they fly. May be heard, perhaps seen, near tracks.

Shining Cuckoo (Chalcites lucidus)

Description: A small bird not much bigger than a sparrow. Crown and upper parts bronze green. Underparts white barred with similar iridescent green. Their simple call of repeated two syllable ascending notes is followed by one or two descending notes. Returns to breed (parasitising nests) after wintering in the Solomon Islands. Eat caterpillars.

Habitat: More often than seen in spring and early summer. Easily imitated and bird will often call back. Frequent native forest, scrub and gardens.

Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

Description: Our forest owl. More likely to be heard, especially in spring when the males call a repeated "more-pork". If a roosting bird is discovered during the day, birds will mob it noisily.

Habitat: Listen for it at dusk.

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