25 July 2014

Flying orcas

We were driving through the rolling hills of southern Otago when a majestic black and white bird swooped across a bright green field. We mused for a while about the unique, predator-free island ecosystem here that allowed such magnificent, high contrast birds to evolve without the need for camouflage.

(Not our picture)

When we arrived at our inn, we eagerly searched google for clues to this unusual bird's identity. A few clicks later, we learned that the Australian Magpie was introduced here to control pests. And like most of the animals that settlers introduced to control pests in New Zealand, the magpie subsequently established itself as a larger pest than the one it was brought in to eat.

Oh well. It's pretty, at least.

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