Morepork at Tawharanui

Morepork at Tawh (2)

At Tawharanui you often know there is a morepork around because of the great ruckus created by bellbirds, robins, whiteheads and saddlebacks all trying to give it grief. This bird though, was just sitting quietly until I stuck a ladder up the tree next to it to check if the eggs had hatched in a robin nest. I’m not sure how intelligent owls are (outside of storybooks) but I hoped it didn’t notice what I was doing as robin nests are commonly preyed on by moreporks. After a while a few birds did start to harass this morepork but he stayed put, not seeming to care. Often they’ll fly off when I come on them suddenly and always I find the complete absence of sound from the wings of this relatively large bird quite spooky. The soft edges of their primary feathers muffle the air movement off the wing, completely unlike the tui wing feather which is designed to create noise. Look at the scalpel-like shape of the third primary feather on this tui wing and the firm feather edges which explain its excessively noisy flight.

Tui wing feathers (8)


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