Tagged: birds

What a hoot! Cheeky kea ‘laughter’ sets off playful antics - News

John Kerr Mar 21, 2017

A warbling kea squawk has been shown to trigger playful behaviour in the cheeky native parrot, which researchers have compared to laughter in humans. Kea are playful birds. They perform aerial acrobatics, chase each other through the air and have jostling play-fights on the ground.  Researchers noticed that in the midst of such behaviour kea screech a particular ‘play call.’ After documenting these … Read More

De-extinction dilemma: Bring back the moa or save the kiwi? - News

John Kerr Feb 28, 2017

Adding previously-extinct species to our conservation checklist will strain already tight conservation budgets, say a team of New Zealand and Australian scientists. Little Bush Moa, Anomalopteryx didiformis. © Te Papa. De-extinction – resurrecting extinct species with the help of modern technology – has been largely confined to the realms of sci-fi. But now technology is catching up with the fantasy. Read More

Photos: Creatures reveal true colours up close - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 23, 2017

From a tiny caddsifly to a frolicking dusky dolohin, NIWA staff have captured some beautiful images of insects, birds, fish – and a particularly handsome frog. These up close and personal images have required enormous patience, great skills and a little bit of luck to pull off. They have all been taken by NIWA scientists and staff in the course … Read More

Ice ages led to ‘explosive’ diversity in Kiwi species - News

John Kerr Sep 01, 2016

Ancient walls of ice separating kiwi populations have left their mark in the DNA of New Zealand’s most iconic species. A new study published this week in PNAS has revealed the enormous impact historic cold snaps had on the evolution of kiwis. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic … Read More

NZ native falcon is actually two types of bird - News

John Kerr Aug 10, 2016

The New Zealand falcon, or kārearea, population is actually made up of two different subspecies, scientists have decided. Researchers from Massey University declare the subspecies split in a new study analysing the physical and genetic differences between kārearea from different parts of the New Zealand. The research is published in IBIS, International Journal of Avian Science. In collecting data on bird sizes, the researchers … Read More

Puffed up penguins- World Penguin Day - Ice Doctor

Victoria Metcalf Apr 29, 2015

Over the weekend, in case you missed it, it was World Penguin Day, an annual day to think about those dapper-suited gentlemen and women and how much fun they bring to our lives. Let’s face it, I think everyone LOVES penguins. I’m yet to meet anyone that isn’t pretty mesmerised or completely besotted by the waddling … Read More

Frozen Friday Fab Four #6 The importance of basic science - Ice Doctor

Victoria Metcalf May 30, 2014

Four of the Antarctic or anything else headlines/social media bits that have grabbed my attention this week. Remarkably it looks like the diminutive Kiwi is the closest living relative of the extinct elephant bird. Image source: Wikimedia Commons uploaded by Glen Stewart. The importance of basic science 1. As a scientist I actually love it when what we think … Read More

RIP Richard Henry - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Jan 14, 2011

From Codfish Island this morning comes the sad news of the death of Richard Henry, the last remaining Fiordland kakapo.  Richard Henry was captured in Fiordland in 1975, at a time when kakapo were thought to be virtually extinct.  All other kakapo currently living are descended from birds discovered on Stewart Island in 1977.  A […] … Read More