A spectacular rare visitor

Tall white bird stands tall beside a river.

It's a rare but very special visitor to Waikawa Beach: a Kōtuku | White heron. It was hanging round the river today [23 May 2024].

We see one for a few days every few years. These are Native birds whose Conservation Status is Nationally Critical. Nationally Critical’ classifies the most severely threatened species that are in an immediate high risk of extinction.

Outside its breeding area on the West Coast:

it is ‘He kotuku rerenga tahi’ or the bird of single flight, implying something seen perhaps once in a lifetime. When seen in close proximity it is a magnificent bird, with its large size and clean white plumage.

Pure white bird with sharp yellow beak and neck kinked flies across the image.
Black shag in the river looks at the heron on the bank.

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