Whilst researching the Cook Islands before my trip here, I had read that there are a lot of chickens on the islands. I can confirm this is true. This Cockerel is a typical example of how colourful and big these wild birds are. He was very fond of walking me up at 7am every morning just in time for sunrise. Obviously, here he had crossed the road to get to the beach!
There are many unusual birds in New Zealand. Most of us are aware of the Kiwi but there are a great deal of others worthy of note. The Pukeko can be found in Papua New Guinea and Australia it is very common here in New Zealand. The first time I came across a Pukeko was on weekend break to a bird sanctuary in the Coromandel. Here they would fly away as soon as got within a few metres of them. The above photograph was taken last week on an evening stroll around Western Springs Park. There are hundreds of Pukeko’s in the park and they are obviously much more comfortable around people. The bright blue of their breasts and the red on their heads make them very striking to look at.
Known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Great Cormorant this large black sea bird was spotted just of the coast of the Coromandel in New Zealand. Sadly, due to my limited time and equipment this was as close as I could photograph him with my 200mm zoom lens. As you can see the bird is drying his wings. The Maori name for the bird is a Kawau.
This landscape is the view looking west towards the coast near Te Kawau Point. As you can see the landscape is both picturesque and rugged in this north western area of the Coromandel peninsula. In the foreground is the Waiaro stream. If you look very closely you can see a small purple bird called a Pukeko stood in the shallow water. This is about as close as I could ever get to these native birds. My camera doesn’t have a long professional zoom lens and these birds are particularly nervous around people.
When friends asked if I wanted to visit the animal sanctuary in Matakana (north of Auckland) I jumped at the chance. It was a nice surprise that not only do they provide refuge for rescued farm animals and battery hens, they also care for native birds. The Morepork, otherwise known as a Southern Boobook or Tasmainian spotted owl is New Zealand’s smallest owl. My photography of the birds and animals focused on their eyes. This owl was one of the most photogenic and patient of the birds. Letting me get reasonably close with my camera.