In Search of Pukekos

New Zealand is really picking up and one of my favorite things so far is the amount of green spaces available. Every corner has some park to relax, go biking, or have a picnic and some of the larger ones likes the Hunua Ranges, have incredible waterfalls.

Green Spaces Auckland

About a month ago while driving down highway 16, I spotted three pukekos, a black and blue bird with a bright red beak native to New Zealand (mostly). Ever since then, I became a little bit obsessed and was always on the look out to find some more on the side of the road.

Pukekos

Everyone I mentioned this to was totally unimpressed and assured me they can be found anywhere, but I personally had only seen those three! That is until a few weeks ago when my new (and now ex)roommate told me of a large park where hundreds of birds gather and will swarm you if you bring some bread. I was so there.

These guys were more than ready.
These guys were more than ready.

The Western Springs in West Auckland is a great place where you can find these curious birds. There are also a bunch of other birds, including ducks, black swans, geese, heron, and a bird I wasn’t able to identify that looks like a black and white pukeko.

Look at those semi-webbed feet!
Look at those semi-webbed feet!

The park is attached to the Auckland Zoo so it is not very difficult to find. If you have some time, check it out and make sure to bring plenty of bread! Here are some pictures I took.

Can I has some bread?!
Can I has some bread?!

Western Springs Auckland

She regretted bringing too much bread.
She regretted bringing too much bread.

Swans

Pukeko with Bread

Pukekos 4

Heron Western Springs

This family was so cute
This family was so cute

Western Springs 2

Western Springs 3

Side note: Would anyone be interested in an animal identifier app? I am considering learning to code for android for a few travel based apps I wish existed. The idea would be you take a pic, upload it, and have a community member identify it for you. Furthermore, it would keep track of where to spot certain animals. Sorry to sneak this announcement on this pukeko post, but I figured, it was short and you wouldn’t mind.

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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