Readers’ wildlife videos

I am just back from a two-hour tramp in the native beech/tree-fern forests around Pelorus Bridge (where part of Lord of the Rings–or The Hobbit–was filmed). And that is between Nelson and Picton on New Zealand’s South Island. What a lovely walk it was, too, although the forest was way too silent: many of the birds have gone extinct since James Cook reported the forests filled with a cacophony of bird sound. I have many pictures and will try to post some soon.

This morning we have a video from the American forest: from reader Tara Tanaka, who gives us a lovely one-minute production that took a long time to edit! Here’s what she wrote me:

I just finished about 36 hours of editing.  I shot this over some of the best 7 weeks of my life in 2014 and 2016.

And the notes on her video, “Spring in the swamp”:

What a morning! Wood Storks are mating everywhere in the swamp – I heard this sound from the yard for years and didn’t know what it was – a very unique (and noisy) beak clacking mating ritual. I’m not sure if the neighbors really didn’t notice, or if they were just being polite. The Anhingas are building nests, and I got some much better video of our tiny Great Egret chicks when a parent came back with food this morning.


LAGNIAPPE: Cute chick at the end.

Be sure to watch this full screen and in Hi Def on the Vimeo site.

Tara’s Flickr site is here, and her Vimeo site is here.


  1. Blue
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    O my golly, what a darling wee babe of a Mycteria americana after some 30 days’ worth of incubational warming per Such perseverance, Ms Tanaka, of yours ! My thanks !

    When you stated “too silent” and before I read on further into your post, I was thinking, well, cuz the forest did not hold within it for you, Dr Coyne, the noises of a big, big city. So sadly, the silence is, instead, actually referencing one of an extinction’s spring — that kind of a silent spring.


    • Blue
      Posted March 27, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Qualifyingly, howeover: springtime for me
      yet of an autumn era for those of and in New Zealand.


  2. Randy schenck
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Very nice video and lots of work.

    On another note down under – A sizable cyclone (same as Tsunami) is about to hit the Queensland coast of Australia. Would be a cat 4 or 5 based on news report.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Cyclone Debbie is looking very nasty indeed. A ?US tourist was killed early on. Lots of people are refusing to evacuate!

    • hugh7
      Posted March 28, 2017 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      A tsunami is a wave of water generated by an earthquake. Very nasty, but not a cyclone.

  3. MKray
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    You are not far from Rutherford’s birthplace (Brightwater) and the place where he went to school (Havelock)!

    • Posted March 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we’re going to Havelock today and will see the Rutherford Memorial (and also eat mussels)

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Lovely as always! Even the bird sex.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Pelorus Bridge is a setting in the second film of the Hobbit trilogy.

  6. Posted March 27, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    If you do want to experience Prof (E) pre mammalian bird song you might like to try as I have mentioned in a previous post Tiri Tiri Matangi apparently it is one noisy island. It is in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. Besides birds you might meet a tautara (Sphenodon punctatus) and a rareist of them all, a takahe (Porphyrio hoctatetteri)

    • hugh7
      Posted March 28, 2017 at 2:04 am | Permalink


      Our birdsong in Wellington is coming back (except the extinct ones of course) thanks to vacationers from the Zealandia sanctuary (I’m sure it’s on your list). Even up here, 36km north, we are getting tūī (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) in flocks as we never did before.

  7. Posted March 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    How can I send you a video? Is there any e-mail adress or form to send material?

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