As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 10 July 2017

'Secretive' rare native bird found at west Auckland wetland for the first time

Banded rails are a native subspecies which inhabit wetlands throughout New Zealand. 

A rare native bird has been discovered at a west Auckland wetland for the first time. 

The banded rail, a small, secretive, ground living bird, was discovered at the coastal wetland by Rutherford College, in Te Atatu on July 1.

Senior biodiversity advisor at Auckland Council, Ben Paris, confirmed the banded rail, which has a conservation status of "at risk-declining" was captured on video footage from a camera trap.

Senior biodiversity advisor at Auckland Council Ben Paris said the onus was on west Aucklanders to help protect the Te Atatu wetlands. 

It's the first time banded rails - or moho pereru - had been seen in the area.

"We have suspected banded rails to be found in this mangrove habitat," Paris said.

Other than the video footage confirming their presence in the wetlands, there were also banded rail footprints in the salt marsh. 

"We know that they are in the salt marsh habitat of Harbourview Reserve on the east side of the peninsula, but this was great to confirm their presence on the other side too."

The birds are usually found in mangrove and saltmarsh habitats, in estuarine wetlands. Reluctant fliers, banded rails can travel long distances, mainly at night.

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