Meet the Residents, Karearea


Karearea, the New Zealand falcon is our most maligned and perhaps our most endangered bird. There are far fewer karearea than kiwi and yet their main cause of death is still, shamefully, deliberate shooting. This youngster didn’t make it to adulthood. We had enjoyed seeing her grow from a fledgling and she often visited our yard to catch crickets on our front lawn. Sadly, I found her dead shortly after taking this picture. The cause of death was likely starvation as it is also a major contributor to mortality in young karearea. Being ground nesters, predation is also a risk as is collision with powerlines and even windmills.

I fell hopelessly in love with karearea on a visit to Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre at Rotorua. There, a handful of dedicated bird lovers and falconers rescue injured karearea, kahu (Australasian harrier), ruru (morepork) and other birds of prey. Some are too seriously injured to survive in the wild and are trained as demonstration birds or captive bred and their progeny reintroduced to the wild. Open to the public, the centre features a free flight display by karearea and you can get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful and efficient avian predators on our planet.

Visit Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre: Open 9am-3pm. Flying displays are held daily at 2pm. Arrive @ 1:30pm for the falcon flight display at 2pm. 1164 Paradise Valley Road, Rotorua, NZ.



  1. Beautiful photo, so sad though that it died. Where I lived, one of the main things destroying them where the magpies, actually they are one of the biggest destroyers of all birds out in the bush.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They can be a pest for sure but our tui put them in their place here. I’ve seen magpies checking to see if the coast is clear before venturing out in the open when tui are on the rampage. Thanks for your comments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing the plight of our beautiful karearea, Wendy. And such a lovely photo! I had a placement at Wingspan a number of years ago – they really are doing an amazing job 🙂


    • Oh, lucky you!! I love kokako but when you have a stare off with karearea it stirs up all kinds of emotions doesn’t it. Wingspan is amazing and once you’ve held one of their birds you’re changed for life, for the better of course. Thanks for your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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