RO­TORUA

Ro­torua is right­fully tak­ing its place among the eco-tourism des­ti­na­tions of New Zealand.

Element - - ECO-TOURISM -

The flashy aerial dis­plays of the Karearea (New Zealand fal­con) were the star of the show at Wing­span, New Zealand’s only bird of prey cen­tre in Ro­torua, un­til we got a pri­vate au­di­ence with a ruru (more­pork).

Bleary eyed and wob­bly on its feet, it emerged from its hid­ing place for its din­ner, served in bite-sized chunks by Katie, one of the cen­tre’s fal­con­ers. It wasn’t all easy pick­ings, how­ever. Katie launched a piece into the air and, quick-as-a-flash, and with­out a sound, the ruru had swooped to grasp it in its tiny talons.

Watch­ing karearea and ruru in flight is some­thing New Zealan­ders rarely get to wit­ness, in the for­mer’s case be­cause of the birds’ rar­ity and, in the later, due to its noc­tur­nal lifestyle.

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