It’s been an exciting time for bird-lovers in the Tutukaka and Ngunguru area, as the Botaurus poiciloptilus, matuku or Australasian bittern makes itself known again.
You may have noticed the bittern’s booming calls echoing across the local wetlands; or maybe you’ve seen slightly larger bird shapes than the average duck or heron moving through our swamplands: if so, then you may have unwittingly been exposed to the Australasian bittern. These birds are a beautiful mottled brown colour, ideally adapted to blend with their preferred nesting areas of raupo (bulrush).
We’re hoping that the bittern increase is also indicative of an uptake in the local frog population: wouldn’t that be fantastic? Either way, we’re very excited to welcome back our shy, wetland-dwelling feathered friends, and it’s inspired us to create a bittern fact sheet for those of you who – like us – love to know more about our local birdlife here on the Tutukaka coast in Northland.
Bittern photo courtesy of Imogen Warren Photography