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Wildlife of New Zealand

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Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans, Accipitridae: Eagles, Kites, Goshawks etc.) North Island, New Zealand

The Swamp Harrier is the only hawk currently extant in New Zealand. Unlike in Australia, where it is also widespread, it has no real competition from other scavengers and aerial predators such as crows, ravens, kites, eagles and the like. Here we see one doing something I have not seen one do in Australia - a Swamp Harrier scavenging roadkill, a not uncommon sight in NZ. In this case the dead remains of an introduced Australian Brush-tailed Possum! Filmed on a forest road near the north shore Lake Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand. Also see vimeo.com/113068796 filmed nearby.

Filmed from inside a car- these birds are very timid when on the ground like this.

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