Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

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.