Heading out for a run at around 6pm last night a small figure sitting on the power lines down my street caught my eye. Upon closer inspection (it was dark), I saw it was a morepork, or ruru (Ninox novaeseelandiae), New Zealand’s only extant native owl. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo, but here’s another pic I found:
The morepork call is one of the most distinctive sounds of the NZ forest, but they are very hard to spot – especially in the suburbs! In fact, this is only the second time I’ve seen a morepork anywhere. Looks like the morepork is another native bird benefiting from the presence of the Karori Sanctuary (oops I mean Zealandia) providing a predator-free inner-city haven for nesting in Wellington.