Saturday, October 2, 2010

Poaka, the Pied Stilt

This slim and elegant wader is a handsome and familar fellow. After introducing himself to New Zealand in the early 1800s, this cosmopolitan species made New Zealand its newest home. Being rather generalists, they quickly adapted to the pastures and fields that the settlers were creating, and are now to be found both in estuaries and around the coast, as well as further inland in swampy pastures. They feast upon molluscs and invertebrates and breed both in the rocky riverbeds around the coast (or sometimes inland), often in large colonies of up to 100 pairs. Their nests are mounded lumps, in which they lay 2-5 eggs. When their young hatch, they are precocious and mobile and the parent birds distract potential predators by feigning injury.

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