Did you know moreporks mewed?

baby morepork.jpegI woke up with the rain gurgling down the guttering at 5:30am this morning, made myself my customary morning coffee and sat down to do some work before the morning’s quiet was broken by the duvet-bearing preschooler sharing her first thoughts of the day with me. As I typed, my muted keyboard percussion was accompanied by a “mew mew mew” sound* from the lanky poplars that line our top paddock.

This curious mewing is the less well known call of the morepork (ruru) – the onomatopoeic “more-pork” call being the one we associate with them. (In fact, until only a week or so back I had no idea what creature this mystery call belonged to.) I am not sure what the mewing call means. I suppose, just like humans, owls would get bored with just saying the same thing over and over again (as a mother of young children, I can empathise completely), so perhaps it is just for variety – who knows? (Perhaps someone does – if so, please be in touch.)

 In any case, as far as morning calls go, I think this is up there with the best.

*You can listen here (on the excellent NZbirdsonline site) to the various morepork calls.

Image: Newly fledged young. Wellington, January 2009. Image © Peter Reese by Peter Reese

[Originally published on http://www.catherineknight.nz, 29 April 2017]

2 thoughts on “Did you know moreporks mewed?

  1. Good morning Catherine, Enjoyed your intersection of early morning coffee, work and easy distraction into the world around you. Picked up your ‘Rivers’ whilst visiting our three young grandsons in Akaroa earlier this year, beautifully produced volume. Looking forward to a summer river trip in June to read it in an appropriate environment. Cheers, David

    • Nice to hear from you David. I heard from one person who was reading the book in a plane, and as she looked up from the part about the Manawatu River, she glanced out the window and there the Manawatu was in its fully, meandering glory! Best wishes Catherine

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