Pererū / banded rail
One of the best sites to see the rare banded rail (pererū) in the South Island is on the Mārahau Estuary boardwalk at the southern end of the Park.
Banded rail are small, brownish birds, something like a miniature weka, but intricately patterned with black streaks and pale spots on an olive brown background.
The best time for viewing banded rails is at dawn or dusk, or when a falling tide has exposed snails and small mud crabs, which are their preferred food. Look for a fleeting glimpse as they dart across the mudflats between clumps of rushes.
Bird calls courtesy of NZ birds online
Photo courtesy of Tom Young
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