White-faced heron (matuku)

The white-faced heron, or matuku, is a new native. That is, it arrived naturally (blown over from Australia) but only became established in New Zealand in the last 60 years.

It is a tall, elegant, blue-grey bird that will be seen stalking its prey in most of the estuaries along the Abel Tasman coastline. Because it forages in a broad range of habitats, including playing fields and pasture, it is well habituated to disturbance and can usually be approached closely.

When not feeding in these estuaries the white-faced heron may be seen flying high between them—its languid deep and slow wing beat is quite distinctive.


White-faced heron (matuku)

White-faced heron (matuku). Photo: New Zealand Birds Online


White-faced heron (matuku) calls on New Zealand Birds Online.

More info on New Zealand Birds Online.