LOCATION: Found in forests in Te Mata Park and throughout mainland New Zealand and offshore islands.
BEHAVIOUR: Often heard in the forest at dusk and throughout the night, the morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae) is known for its haunting, melancholic call. Its Māori name, ruru, reflects this call.
Morepork are nocturnal, hunting at night for large invertebrates including beetles, weta, moths and spiders. They will also take small birds, rats and mice.
They fly silently as they have soft fringes on the edge of the wing feathers. They catch prey using large sharp talons or beak.
By day they roost in the cavities of trees or in thick vegetation. If they are visible during the day they can get mobbed by other birds and are forced to move. (DOC)
CULTURE: In Māori tradition the morepork was seen as a watchful guardian. It belonged to the spirit world as it is a bird of the night. Although the more-pork or ruru call was thought to be a good sign, the high pitched, piercing, ‘yelp’ call was thought to be an ominous forewarning of bad news or events. (DOC)
Haere mai | Welcome to Te Mata Park and its famous peak, one of the most loved and visited places in Hawke’s Bay.
Gifted in perpetuity to the community in 1927 and managed by a small group of volunteer trustees, with appreciated help from local councils and the community, the Park is a cultural, historical and recreational treasure.
Four times winner of the presitigous international environmental award.