Guest blogger: Poet & Campaign Manager for the Pied Stilt, Sam Hunt  

Ed’s note: Sam Hunt lives amongst the birds in the Kaipara Harbour, so I asked him to be a campaign manager for one of his favourite neighbours – the pied stilt –  a bird which has polled poorly in our annual Bird of the Year competition. Here’s his response. Mandy


Pied Stilt, Photo: Craig McKenzie

There aren’t too many birds I don’t love in some way or other. And it’s a tough ask, to choose your favourite.

I’ll give it a go and say poaka. There’s nothing I don’t love about these birds. I love the way they don’t give too much of a toss about nests. A few sticks and twigs do the trick. So long as it carries the eggs safely.A scoop on a sandbank, again, a few twigs. That’s home.

After at least fifty years, watching these birds, I can still be fooled by their “broken wing” display. This is defence of that nest, of home. If a stilt’s nest is threatened, they’ll affect a broken wing and a broken leg, tumble down the shoreline, distracting the intruder completely. It’s a stunning performance.

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