Monthly Archives: August 2013

More earthquakes

Just a quick post to let readers know that my family and I are safe after today’s big earthquake around 2.31pm and subsequent myriad aftershocks. We are naturally on edge but we are physically unharmed and the house here seems to be built of stern stuff.

Clocking the Cuckoos

New Zealand’s Forest and Bird organisation posted this information on their Facebook page today. I haven’t heard a shining cuckoo yet but when I do I will report to the spring migration research that is mentioned here:

Michael Anderson is postdoctoral fellow at Massey University who wants to know more about the arrival dates of the Long-tailed Cuckoo and Shining Cuckoo. These Cuckoos are NZ’s only forest birds that migrate out of the country. They breed in NZ, parasitizing endemic species, using them to raise their offspring for them. Little is known about their migration patterns, so Michael wants any info about the dates they arrive at each part of the country. Obviously we can’t ask customs. If you hear or see one of these birds, could you report it using one of these Google forms Long-tailed Cuckoo spring migration form and the Shining Cuckoo spring migration form Check out these links for more info about our cuckoos, and some nice writing about the Shining Cuckoo from NZbirds

3440-4 Long Tailed Cuckoo, Kapiti Island

Long tailed cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from

For a little more information about the Shining Cuckoos’ relationship with the Grey Warbler go here.

470491Shining Cuckoo, Belmont

Shining Cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from

If you are a New Zealand reader please clock in any cuckoos you see or hear so we can learn more about their unique habits.