A Shining example

I was really startled to find a small bird with an iridescent green back and wings sitting beneath my car yesterday. It hopped away as I approached and because I did not recognise this small bird I gently instructed it to please stay where it was until I returned with my camera.

I was delighted to find it had obeyed my request and I managed to get two photos before it scuttled into the undergrowth of the garden. I think it had been stunned by flying into a window on the house but I am hopeful that with rest it would recover as it was quick in its movements and it flew a short distance into the garden.

Once inside I loaded up my photos and then went straight to this excellent online website which helps identify birds.

And here it was: The Shining Cuckoo or Pīpīwharauroa


I hear it so often in late spring when it migrates back to New Zealand and at times during the summer months. I see in the notes on the website that this bird is more often heard than seen and my experience has been just that until yesterday.

Its markings were very striking and there was much to find attractive about this rather rascally bird.

I have blogged about the Cuckoo here and here and also here about the Riroriro (Grey Warbler) which incubate and raise the young of these Cuckoos.


11 thoughts on “A Shining example

  1. Juliet

    Lucky you, Lynley! I love the song of the pipiwharauroa, and have always longed to see one up close. You are so good at catching the birds on film.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      I thought I knew our native birds very well but this wee one had me very puzzled on first sighting. I hear and see riroriro in the garden here at times and now wonder have they nested here too? This wee one could have been exhausted from all the gales we have been having I guess. I checked the garden last night and again this morning and could not see it so I hope it revived fully and has flown to safety.
      I think I was just lucky too with these photos as the data says they are hard to spot but easy to hear and what a song! They also keep the Kowhai tree caterpillars in check thus ensuring the trees stay healthy for my precious Tuis so I can forgive the Cuckoos for making the tiny Riroriros do all the hard work to raise them.
      Wishing you a Shining Cuckoo in a tree near you! The green iridescence is spectacular.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      It was a very, very special moment and such a gorgeous bird. I just hope it was healthy enough to fly away safely and hide from us all again:-)
      Its iridescent green colouring would make a lovely yarn!

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