Staglands Wildlife Reserve Part 6 : Guineafowl

More feathered friends!


strange bird

strange call

Interesting ways!

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Guinea Fowl

A Rare Breed of African Origin

There is a report that missionaries introduced Guinea Fowl into New Zealand at the Bay of Islands – this would have been in the first half of the nineteenth century – but better substantiated is a number of these birds being imported from India in the early 1860s by the Canterbury Acclimatization Society, some of which were sent on to Nelson in 1864. Other introductions followed, and although most Guinea Fowl are kept under domestication, feral flocks have been reported in the North Island. In the North Island too, comes an account of Guinea Fowl “attacking and beating off” hawks from taking their young.


Staglands Wildlife Reserve Part 5 : Feathered friends


Paradise duck – male




Paradise ducks

The paradise shelduck is New Zealand’s only shelduck, a worldwide group of large, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl that have goose-like features. Unusually for ducks, the female paradise shelduck is more eye-catching than the male; females have a pure white head and chestnut-coloured body, while males have a dark grey body and black head.

Paradise shelducks are commonly observed flying in pairs or grazing on pasture. They are very vocal birds, with males giving a characteristic ‘zonk zonk’, while females make a more shrill ‘zeek zeek’ while flying or as a warning to intruders.


I could not see them that well.

They were up on a perch.



Kea, New Zealand’s mountain parrot

If you are a frequent visitor to or live in an alpine environment you will know the kea well. Raucous cries of “keeaa” often give away the presence of these highly social and inquisitive birds. However, their endearing and mischievous behaviour can cause conflict with people.

Kea (Nestor  notabilis) are an endemic parrot of the South Island’s high country. Although kea are seen in reasonable numbers throughout the South Island, the size of the wild population is unknown – but is estimated at between 1,000 and 5,000 birds.


More Feathered friends.




Grape Hyacinth: Festival of flowers

Grape Hyacinth or Muscari 

are in full flowers at the moment 

They give a lovely patch of spikes with dense blue flowers.






Muscari is a genus of perennial bulbous plants native to Eurasia that produce spikes of dense, most commonly blue, urn-shaped flowersresembling bunches of grapes in the spring. The common name for the genus is grape hyacinth (a name which is also used for the related genera Leopoldia and Pseudomuscari, which were formerly included in Muscari). Other common names are baby’s breath[1] andbluebell,[2] although these are also used for other plants, particularly Gypsophila and Hyacinthoides (respectively). A number of species of Muscari are used as ornamental garden plants.