Kūaka or eastern bar-tailed godwits, and torea, the South Island pied oystercatchers, are common wading birds, often seen in estuaries throughout New Zealand. In early summer, flocks of bar-tailed godwits arrive from Siberia and arctic North America, feeding in New Zealand’s muddy estuaries until autumn, when they depart again. South Island pied oystercatchers breed in inland areas of the South Island during spring and early summer. They spread to estuaries throughout the country in late summer and feed there until August.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Dick Veitch
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