Road signs


In Australia you see signs warning of kangaroos, in Africa it may be elephants, but in New Zealand we only have birds. And the threat is not to people  (although some birds can be particularly nasty!) but to the birds. All three on this road sign at Tawharanui Regional Park are uncommon, as is the sign with its unusual, though not quite unique, combination of birds.  I can think of only one other place it could apply which is Motutapu Island. Pateke is the small brown teal (Anas aucklandica) which is found on the mainland only in the northern North Island and numbers in the low thousands. Although it flies well it spends a lot of time on the ground feeding. My header above this is a family group of brown teal at Tawharanui.

Tawh takahe

The flightless takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri) numbers only about 300. Tawharanui has 11 of them. You can see the bird above has both leg bands and a transmitter poking out of its back feathers so it doesn’t wander off and get lost. And the kiwi at Tawharanui is the North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx australis) of which there are maybe 20,000-30,000 and declining. Here is a little clip I took of a young kiwi last year. Very cute.



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