Kiwi eating grassgrubs during the day

Wild & Wonderful Wellington

Kiwi pukupuku gobbles down a tasty grass grub at ZealandiaKiwi pukupuku gobbles down a tasty grass grub at Zealandia

What an incredible week for wildlife lovers in Wellington! Our first blessing was a kiwi pukpuku (little-spotted kiwi) out foraging during the day at Zealandia. Finally a chance for some photos under good conditions! Although quite unusual behaviour for a nocturnal bird, he seems healthy and is feeding well. There looks to be plenty of grass grubs on offer. Speculation is that he may have lost his territory to a competitor so is feeding during the day to minimize conflict. I wonder too if his vision has deteriorated further (he has a known eye issue) and he might not be able to tell day from night anymore - kiwi don't have strong vision, relying far more on smell and hearing, so it's not necessarily a problem for him. A visitor asked me if perhaps he should be taken somewhere where he can be looked after and have his day-night regulated, but really what better place than at Zealandia where he is safe to roam free where ever and when ever he chooses?

whale diving in Wellington Harbour at dusk.

"Tara Matariki" (the name is still up for much debate) diving in Wellington Harbour at dusk.

Our second blessing was the sudden appearance of a southern right whale in Wellington Harbour. It is a beautiful sight to see a whale frolicking in our picturesque harbour, especially on Thursday night as a calm sunny day descended into a pink sunset. The mood on the waterfront was joyous as Wellingtonians came together to experience this special moment. A moment of poignancy too as we reflected on the killing field that Wellington Harbour once was when whaling was in its heyday, and how we humans nearly hunted whales to extinction. It's thought that at one stage there was only one breeding female southern right left, and all today descend from her. Let's hope our visitor stays and brings friends!

Wellington can be a difficult and challenging city - this weekend is shaping up to be a good example - but moments like these make living here all worthwhile.

#WhyWellington #CantBeatWellingtonOnAGoodDay #NaturalCapital #Wellington #FreeWelly #kiwisforkiwi #zealandia

This wonderful kiwi moment has seen it's way into many of my artworks featuring kiwi pukupuku! Check them out here.

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