Photo of the week: Shining cuckoo

Department of Conservation —  14/10/2015

Today’s photo of the week is of a shining cuckoo/pīpīwharauroa that has returned to New Zealand for the summer.

Shining cuckoos from New Zealand usually spend their winters in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. They return to New Zealand over summer to breed.

Shining cuckoo. Photo: Jack Mace.

These birds are brood parasites and lay their eggs in nests of grey warbler/riroriro, after which the adult cuckoo takes no further part in raising their young. Once they hatch the young cuckoos are dependent on their warbler foster parents.

This shining cuckoo can be found throughout most of New Zealand, reflecting the wide distribution of the grey warbler.

Photo: Jack Mace

3 responses to Photo of the week: Shining cuckoo


    I live in Tauranga and have yet to hear the first call of the shining cuckoo around here.

    Sandra Goodwin 14/10/2015 at 8:39 am

    Great story! We have been hearing the shining cuckoos singing in the last week or so at Lake Okareka and realised that they have returned again for their NZ spring and summer. We also have lots of grey warblers where we live. Feel sorry for them having to rear much bigger chicks than their own! But that is nature’s way…


    Wow – I didn’t know that! Love his stripped chest.