You have now woken up after a long, comfortable sleep at your hotel in Dargaville. You’re ready for another day of adventuring! Today, you will drive around the North island and be introduced to amazing animals that live here in New Zealand. Some are native and some are non-native. Native animals are animals that normally live in New Zealand. Non-native animals are animals that were brought into New Zealand from another country. Examples of native New Zealand animals are the kakapo, the kiwi, the kea parrot, the yellow eyed penguin and the pekapeka bat.
Curious Kiwi, a native New Zealand bird, is your tour guide for today. He is going to take you to visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park where many of his aunties and uncles currently live. The bird park is a five hour drive from Dargaville so you hit the road right after breakfast and arrive in Otorohanga at lunch time. As you walk through the birdhouse you learn about the work being done to conserve and protect the native birds of New Zealand. Let’s imagine that you decide to help out by ‘adopting’ a native animal. Visit the Adopt a Critter page on the Otorohanga bird house website to choose one animal to ‘adopt.’ On your blog, tell us the name of the animal that you chose and a little bit about them. What kind of animal are they? What do they eat? Where do they normally live? You can use Google to help you with your research.
I have chosen to adopt the Blue Duck. It’s Maori name is Whio.
- The Maori name Whio - pronounced fee-or - is very similar to the sound the male Blue Duck makes when it whistles.
- The female Blue Duck makes a harsh purring sound.
Where do Whio live?
The Blue Duck likes to nest in hollow logs or small caves along fast flowing mountain rivers in both the North and South Island of New Zealand. The Blue Duck is a strong swimmer, but doesn’t really like to fly.
- Did you know: There is actually a place called Blue Duck Station here is New Zealand. It is located in Owhango, (Central North Island-ish) on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, where they have a pair of Whio living there, named Gobby and Scarlet.
What do Whio eat?
The Whio mainly eat freshwater invertebrates or other living freshwater critters. On the odd occasion, the Whio in the South Island have been known to snack on the fruits of plants near their stream homes.
- The New Zealand Government and DOC (Department of Conservation) have created the WHIONE program which works with specially trained nose dogs to locate the Whio nests, to help collect, hatch and raise the eggs in captivity.
I would really like to visit The Blue Duck Station in Owhango, near Taumarunui, but at the moment it is a little too cold for me and my family.