Meet the Residents: Consolation Prize

I might not be able to find a kokako nest but I found this little honey when we were cleaning up after the storm.


The oak tree that grew above this pittosporum split and dropped it’s upper limbs. It must have been a very stressful night for the little fantail.


This has left the nest quite exposed to the elements but she is a dedicated mother and has sat resolutely through some awful weather.

It calls to mind this Owen Marshall poem, Refuge.

I never knew where birds go in strong wind
until one blustery day, looking up idly into
the walnut tree, I saw within the greenery
the dark, silent shapes of more than a dozen birds
not clustered, but separate on inner and protected
branches, riding out the storm. Blackbirds
or maybe starlings. Spread branches writhed
but the shapes themselves remained as changeless
hieroglyphics. My supposition might be quite false
of course,  the wind incidental to some far less
simplistic reason for such a studied convocation.
Perhaps they were conspirators planning treachery
within the flock, or avian delinquents serving time
before permitted back to join the soaring squadrons.

Reproduced from Bird Words – New Zealand Writers on Birds,
edited by Elisabeth Easther


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