Kotuku-ngutupapa, the Royal Spoonbill

This magnificent wetland bird visited Pohangina Wetlands on a beautiful autumn day in 2007. Since this first visit, several sightings have been made with numbers up to five in a group staying for more than a week.

Platalea regia is an Australian bird that became native to New Zealand in the mid 1900s when breeding birds were found at Okarito on the West Coast, alongside the white heron colony. Breeding colonies are now found in several locations in South Island and on Kapiti Island, North Island. In autumn royal spoonbills can be seen in estuaries throughout New Zealand.

Click here to see more spoonbill pics.

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