Archivos de diario de febrero 2024

12 de febrero de 2024

Endemic birds thriving in Otago

From previous visits to Aotearoa New Zealand, I was expecting endemic land birds to be few and far between, with introduced British and Australian species dominating the landscape. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the tables turned in favour of the natives in the Otago Lakes District. The first bird I encountered on venturing outside was a Tui, perched at the top of a conifer. Then on entering a patch of manuka/kanuka scrub, an unfamiliar bird popped up. It proved to be a South Island Tomtit, actually one of the Australasian robins belonging to the genus petroica. The orange chest markings indicated a male, springing into action to investigate or challenge the intruder.
After sitting down to investigate some bird calls emanating from the scrub, I was soon surrounded by curious passerines investigating the intrusion into their territory. First to arrive were South Island Fantails, displaying at point-blank range by fanning their tails. They were soon joined by a chattering group of Pipipi or Brown Creeper, a relative of the endemic Whitehead and Yellowhead which inhabits scrub across the South Island. Also in the scrub were a Grey Gerygone, the most widespread of the endemic land birds, and a Silvereye, a species of whiteye from Australia. A Swamp Harrier, the commonest raptor in New Zealand, was hunting over the pine forest.
The resilience of the native passerines owes much to the use of trapping to control introduced predators such as stoats and rats. This is a step towards the goal of making the islands predator-free by 2050.

Publicado el 12 de febrero de 2024 por stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario