Cuteness alert! Today’s photo is of a paradise shelduck/pūtangitangi duckling.
The paradise shelduck is New Zealand’s only shelduck, a worldwide group of large, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl that have goose-like features.
Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Ranger Kelly Eaton found this paradise shelduck duckling on the Shine Falls Track in the Maungaharuru-Tutira catchment, after servicing a series of self-resetting rat traps that DOC is pioneering as part of the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project.
Poutiri Ao ō Tāne includes an 8,800 ha predator-control initiative which later became the catalyst for Cape to City, a 26,000 ha restoration project between Hastings, Cape Kidnappers, and Waimarama.
Both of these projects are critical steps towards seeing native species return to the landscape in which we live, work, and play.
Photo: Lauren Buchholz.
Thank You, Kelly and Lauren. Dibly Dilly has now trebled in size, enjoying the company of a slightly older orphaned cuzzy, and charming us all. Still likes to cuddle up to a wheat pack at night! Pam.
Fantastic photo Lauren! This little guy followed members of the public for half of the Shine Falls track (quite a way for such little legs), unable to find the parents he was picked up and delivered to a local bird rehabilitator where it can be raised to a suitable size before release back into the wild.
That is seriously cute!