The Shining cuckoo are back


Yesterday I heard the call of the shining cuckoo or pipiwharauroa which heralds the beginning of summer at Te Rakau.
These birds are very important in Maori mythology as they played an part in the discovery of Aotearoa. It seems likely that early Maori explorers found their way here not simply by navigating by the stars, but they also watched the direction taken by migratory birds such as the shining cuckoo. Indeed there is a tradition that the captain of one of the first canoes released pet birds as it approached New Zealand to help in locating land.
The name pipiwharauroa can be translated as “little bird of the long journey”.
The grey warblers, who usually host these birds, hopefully have already reared a clutch of their own before having to foster these latest arrivals offspring. We will be listening and watching with interest here at Te Rakau.