“Don’t move!” – I shout.. or whisper? I whisper-shout to Alex, who basically did nothing but one very quiet step. I immediately feel sorry for overreacting. Of course, he knows what to do! We’ve been waiting for this moment so long! A chance to see kiwi bird in the wild…
Alex freezes. The sound behind the tree gets louder. It’s the kiwi bird! It’s definitely the kiwi bird! Once you hear it, you know you won’t ever confuse it with any other forest creature. The night is pitch-dark and our red torches barely break through the dense, almost palpable darkness (kiwi birds don’t see very well, so the white light is blinding for them and an absolute no-no if you want to spot them). We’re so quiet, it almost feels right to even stop breathing… Like a ninja, Alex reaches his camera and brings it in front of him making absolutely no noise.
And listen. The kiwi bird is there. Stomping, rustling, searching for food. It’s a magical moment. We don’t move for a
Suddenly, a group of VERY LOUD kiwi bird fans appears in a distance and our invisible friend escapes immediately. Not this time, apparently. Not this time…
Yet, we look at each other and smile. (I guess, we both smile as I can’t really see Alex’s face in the darkness. I def do). We didn’t see our mysterious birdie but it feels like we just had a long conversation, a nice walk under the stars with our new friend.
We hold hands and walk further. This night will definitely be one of those special memories will be going back to again and again.
First 40 brown kiwis were introduced to fenced, pests-free Tawharanui reserve in Matakana back in 2004. Now there are already over 200 species running around the native forest. And guided Kiwiness Tours are taking enthusiasts like us on a tour to find these gorgeous nocturnal birds all year round.
Vanessa Wards, Kiwiness Tours founder, grew up at the reserve – we’ve even passed by her childhood house on our way to
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