In December while walking the beach a NZ Falcon flew with us low above our heads for about 100m before disappearing over the forest.

Then in March a juvenile falcon arrived at Paramata Lodge and over a number of days attacked our domestic birds killing one hen and injuring two others. Another day it took on one of our muscovy ducks that fought back pulling it into a watery ditch where they must have had quite a tussle. The duck was badly injured but survived. The falcon stood bedraggled by the ditch and when I approached, it hopped off into the barn. It wasn’t keen on flying away so I managed to drop a wire cage over it. It spent the rest of the day recovering and sleeping with its head under its wing. It was amazing to get a good look at this fierce creature.

The next day Neil released it about 5 km away. We keep wondering whether we will see it around here again!

Juvenile falcon are know to travel widely in autumn and will find places where there is easy live food to catch. Poultry owners often kill them for attacking their hens. There are only about 650 breeding pairs of this "Bush Falcon" so they are protected. Covering the hen run with netting was a simple thing that we did immediately to protect our birds. These fearless creatures have wicked attacking techniques and distinctive cry. They're fascinating birds, but a challenge when you live in their wilderness!

 Rare NZ Falcon arrives at Paramata 3.11   Rare NZ Falcon arrives at Paramata 3.11