Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some New Zealand pictures from reader Michael Hannah, whose notes are indented. Hannah is an associate professor of paleontology and evolution at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington.

Numbers 1 – 6 were all taken at Pukaha Mt Bruce sanctuary–  I know you visited there on your NZ trip. Most animals were confined to cages so they were easier to photograph. Numbers 7 and 8 were taken at the NZ fur seal colony at Cape Palliser, on the southern coast of the Wairarapa – about 2 hours drive from Wellington. I’ve also thrown in a couple of photos from a fishing village that the road to Palliser passes through called Ngawi. There are no wharfs: boats are pulled in and out of the water by rusty old tractors – some of which are highly decorated!

1.) Antipodes parakeet – Cyanoramphus unicolour:

2.) Kākā – Nestor meridionalis. This is the north island version of the infamous Kea; it’s not quite as brightly coloured.

3.) Korimako – New Zealand bellbird ( Anthornis melanura):

4.) Tui – (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)  one of my favourite birds – noisy, aggressive – but with the most beautiful feathers.  [JAC: note the white feathered “parson’s collar”.]

5.) Tuatara – (Sphenodon punctatus):

6.) Longfin Eel –  (Anguilla dieffenbachia). Once a major food source for Māori, but now in decline. Theses had gathered to be hand-fed by visitors to the sanctuary.

7.) and 8.) Young Kekeno – New Zealand fur seals. It was a hot day and everyone was sleepy. Some just wanted to float, neatly folded in a convenient rock pool.

Here are the tractors used to drag the boats out of the water in Ngawi. Those crazy Kiwis! Wikipedia says this:

Ngawi has more bulldozers per capita than anywhere else. The bulldozers are used to haul fishing boats into and out of the water as there is no wharf or other access to the ocean other than the beach, which can be notoriously rough at times.

The location has a large population of fur seals, and is popular not just with commercial but recreational fishermen. The best fish to catch are Paua (a type of abalone which is prized for its iridescent shell as well as the flesh), crayfish (also known as rock lobster), and cod. The place is popular with all types of fishermen, including spearfishers.



  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    “Neatly folded” fur seals – a chance to deploy “Carrollian”!

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Very nice pictures! Thank you for sharing. The bulldozers made me laugh. I did not know about the longfin eels. They resemble a kind of lungfish, but apparently they are not that kind of fish.

  3. rickflick
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    These images bring back memories of my trip a few years ago. I love that tight shot of the kaka.

  4. Paul Doerder
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Nice photos and great reminder of a wonderful trip to New Zealand 6 years ago. Loved the bellbird calls and thrilled to see a tuatara in the wild (well on a reserve).

  5. Posted January 31, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Nice photos. I also particularly liked the Tui. Thanks!

  6. Christopher
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps not as brightly colored, but N. meridionalis is quite beautiful indeed.

  7. Posted January 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Lovely photos. New Zealand’s wildlife is always fascinating.

  8. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Very cool! I’ve been able to hear Tui from my kitchen for the last few weeks, but I haven’t seen one yet.

    • Posted January 31, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      We live near the Zelandia sanctuary – so we are lucky enough to have lots of Tui (and Kaka) around.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 1, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Oh wow! That would be amazing!

  9. Posted February 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Very nice photos, Michael. Thanks!

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