SciBlogs

Archive January 2012

Today’s #Kotuku Photo Brendan Moyle Jan 31

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This bird is a bit of a survivor. Count the legs :)

It tastes good! #kaka feeding Brendan Moyle Jan 19

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New Zealand actually has a small number of endemic parrot species. These include the kakapo (a species that has received a lot of attention and investment into its protection), the kea (a mountain parrot that delights tourists in the Southern Alps) and the kaka. There are two subspecies of the kaka; one in the North Island and one in the South Island. The kaka is more drab than many other parrot species. This is a result of evolution in an environment where predators were all avian.

The kaka has also been in decline. This is largely due to the competition and predation by introduced pests. Where pest control is effective, kaka populations do much better.

At Puhaka (Mount Bruce) 12 kaka were released into the reserve a few years ago. Numbers have increased quickly and the bird is now a relatively common site in the area. The birds are still wild, but largely habituated to the presence of people. This certainly helped me get some photos.

This shot is of a kaka feeding on flax flowers. If you look closely you should be able to see its tongue inside the beak.

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Today’s #kotuku photo Brendan Moyle Jan 18

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This shot is of the heron springing into flight at Okarito.


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#Kotuku in nuptial feathers Brendan Moyle Jan 16

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The kotuku or white heron acquires nuptial plumes during the breeding season. This shot shows such plumes fanning out as the bird grooms itself.


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This can be contrasted to adults outside the breeding season. The shot below is of the same species, but this time in Australia (the Northern Territory).


One of the advantages of photographing white herons in New Zealand however, is we don't have to worry about crocodiles :). The shot from Australia above was hindered somewhat by the presence of a 4m crocodile hidden 'somewhere' close by.

Back into civilisation- kotuku photo Brendan Moyle Jan 15

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We had a good family expedition over the Xmas-New year period, getting as far south as Fox Glacier. Along the way I took a lot of photos and generally stayed away from anything to do with computers :) (Hence the lack of blog updates)

Well, the delight of moving 1200 photos from my memory cards to PC has been accomplished, and the slower process of processing and editing photos has begun.

I thought I'd begin with pair of juvenile kotuku (white herons) at their nesting site in Okarito. Okarito lagoon is the only location in New Zealand where this species breeds.


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Hope you enjoy :)