AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at t..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

Shining Cuckoo

Scientific name:

 Chrysococcyx lucidus lucidus

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 Native. Not threatened

Mainland status:



 16cm, 25g




 Mid October - Mid January


 Invertebrates, especially caterpillars


Shining cuckoo in song - photography by: Dr Kerry RodgersThe shining cuckoo is metallic bronze green, barred dark green on a white face and underparts and has a short tail.

The song is a distinctive series of high-pitched upward-slurring whistles: ‘coo-ee’….followed by one or two downward-slurring notes ‘tsee-ew’.

The diet is mainly invertebrates, especially the small green caterpillars that feed on kowhai leaves and the black hairy caterpillars of the Magpie Moth.

Most shining cuckoos over-winter in the Solomon Islands and the Bismark Archipelago, returning to New Zealand in September.

From mid-October the shining cuckoo lays a single egg in the nest of its host species, usually a grey warbler. The egg is larger than the grey warbler's eggs and is olive green (the grey warbler's eggs are paler, often almost white, and sometimes speckled).  It hatches at approximately 15 days and, when a few days old, the cuckoo chick evicts the grey warbler eggs or chicks. The chick fledges at about 19 days and continues to be fed by both grey warbler foster parents for at least 4 weeks.

Shining Cuckoo - photographer: Dr Kerry Rodgers
Shining cuckoos are heard, and often seen, on Tiritiri Matangi every year, though it is not clear whether they breed on the Island or simply pass through. Breeding is possible, as there are resident grey warblers, though these are not as common on the Island as many other birds.

Learn more about the shining cuckoo at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers © Right - shining cuckoo in song.  Left - shining cuckoo taking to flight

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.