every spring i’m excited for the return of the pīpīwharauroa // shining cuckoo. their distinctive melody is a harbinger for the Māori indicating that spring has come and it’s time to plant the kumara // sweet potato. i hear the call of these birds every year at our place, as they come and lay their eggs in the grey warbler nests, letting those tiny birds raise the chicks as their own.
until this season, i’ve always heard them, but never seen one.
this year, after wandering around the garden trying to work out where all the squeaky baby bird “feed me” noises were coming from, i spotted this fledgling following a warbler around demanding to be fed. it looks like an adult, but is yet to try using it’s voice to make the distinctive song that these birds are known for.