Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shining cuckoos around Halswell

I was in my garden earlier this week (near Quarry Park) and heard a shining cuckoo/ pipiwharauroa.   They have a very distinctive call  and are said to herald spring.  I always like hearing them for that reason - no matter if it is well into summer when I hear them!   They are also known as rainbirds in some parts of New Zealand - testimony to the fact that that on the west coast of both islands, spring can be quite a wet season!


Shining Cuckoo:  Photo from DOC website
Pipiwharauroa are small insect eating birds - only about the size of a sparrow and they fly each year between here and the Solomon Islands.  They go there to eat up large on insects over our winter, before returning here in spring.

They breed here, laying their eggs into the nests of  grey warblers tiny birds with relatively loud and also very distinctive song.

There are a few places around Christchurch where you can hear shining cuckoos throughout the summer - so listen out as you walk, or bike around Halswell  because you might just hear one.

You can find out more about shining cuckoos here  or you can listen to an interview about the shining cuckoo here.