Environment - Helping Hungry Birds

Mahurangi East bird enthusiast Isabel Harris offers some tips on ensuring birds have plenty to eat during the cold winter months. I was disappointed to hear the results of last year’s bird count confirming that the populations of many bird species...... Read More

Environment - Moral dilemmas

In his book The Life You Can Save, philosopher Peter Singer poses an ethical question about where we should put our money. Consider this: You are walking to work in your nice clothes and see a drowning child in a pond. You can save the child but you will...... Read More

Father’s Day in the stars

With Father’s Day around the corner, I was asked recently whether I had any astronomy related ideas for the perfect Father’s Day. For me, Great Barrier Island would be a good start. It is within easy reach by ferry or plane, and has fantastic...... Read More

TOSSI - Digging for the future

Climbing a hillside, ominously referred to as slip gully, to smash aside mounds of kikuyu grass and dig holes in the ground is a remarkably fun way to pass a Sunday morning. Community planting days at Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary are the culmination of...... Read More

Hauturu - Spineless wonders

I have written about what a haven Te Hauturu-o-Toi is for native birds, plants and reptiles. It is also a haven for over 500 of our native invertebrates and that is only the ones that have been found and identified there. There could well be that many...... Read More

Bellbird sightings welcome

The arrival of hihi (stitchbirds) at Shakespear Open Sanctuary last month (HM July 1) means that all three of New Zealand’s honeyeaters are now in residence, the other two being tuis and the korimako (bellbird). Tuis are a regular feature on the...... Read More

Environment - Roadside rights

Winter is on its way out, but the nights are still cool, and across the country fires are keeping families warm and houses cosy. But firewood is expensive and it burns quickly on cold nights. So, out on rural roads, resourceful people with chainsaws and...... Read More

The slater puzzle

The next time you are at the beach at low tide have a look in some of the little rock pools and you are likely to see a unique NZ creature. Even though this animal is abundant and only occurs in New Zealand, it surprisingly does not have a common name,...... Read More

Matariki a positive sign

In ages past, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens. Those eyes became Matariki....... Read More

TOSSI - Plight of the kōkopu

The plight of a few native freshwater fish will mean different things to different people, and it can be difficult for us to consider another person’s – or a fish’s – perspective. New Zealand’s giant kōkopu population is...... Read More