Be Quick, I'm Off! - Grey Warbler - NZ


Gore, New Zealand

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  • Artwork Comments 38

Wall Art


Artist's Description

It is amazing how many times I have heard and seen the little grey warbler since my first sighting and capture, I guess they have always been in the garden waiting for me to discover them. It is like buying a new car, you never see one on the road till you decide to buy one, then every second car is the same type as the one you bought. These little birds are hard to capture they tend to stay under the canopy of the trees, I was fortunate that this little one popped out for a brief moment, posed on the gate post then vanished into the trees once more.
Riroriro – Grey Warbler – Gerygone igata
New Zealand’s favourite bird, this tiny insignificantly-coloured bird is nevertheless one of the greatest characters of the bush. It’s distinctive warble (tseetseetseetseetsee") is a herald of spring and, as such, it features in several significant Maori folk tales. It flickers insessently through the understorey and canopy of small trees searching for insects, often heard, rarely seen for more than a second . (a demanding subject for the photographer!)
On the thinnest of branches, riroriro builds a hanging nest with a verandah, to keep out enemies. But sometimes when it is away, a shining cuckoo will lay its egg in the nest, tricking the tiny warblers into raising a baby several times bigger than they are! Usually two families of four chicks will be reared each year. It is the second clutch that most often suffers the attention of the cuckoo.
A Maori whakatauki (proverb): "In spring, the song of the riroriro meant it was time to plant the crops. Some people were lazy. They didn’t work hard in their gardens and in the winter they would grumble because they were hungry. The people who had grown plenty of food would laugh and say, “I hea koe I te tangihanga o te riroriro?” which means, “Where were you when the riroriro sang?”
To view a list of brids captured so far please see my journal entry
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Rural Southland NZ

Be Quick, I’m Off!

Where Were You When The Riroriro Sang?

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