Catrin Owen09:06, Jun 30 2019
New Zealand's tiniest bird, the tiny endemic rifleman, has a new predator - the long-tailed cuckoo.
University of Auckland PHD students, Ines Moran and Yen Yi Loo, discovered the long-tailed cuckoo or koekoeā snatched tiny rifleman chicks from a nest, while checking footage to make sure camera traps were working.
Moran and Loo both got a big surprise to see the cuckoo snatching the chicks.
"Our work is focused on studying rifleman behaviour and interaction between parents and chicks so when I saw the cuckoo footage, it came as something of a shock," Moran said.
"It's quite unique to discover a new predator of an endemic bird and cuckoos were not on the predator list for rifleman – well not until now anyway."