New Zealand Falcon, KāreareaFalco novaeseelandiae
New Zealand status: Endemic
Conservation status: Recovering
The New Zealand falcon/kārearea is a fearsome hunter capable of flying at speeds of more than 100 km/h.
A robust falcon with broad wings, long tail, long yellow legs and toes, yellow eye-ring, dark eyes, and a distinct moustache stripe from the base of the strongly hooked bill down the face. Sometimes confused with the swamp harrier/kahu that is commonly seen feeding on road-kill, the falcon very rarely feeds on carrion, and is smaller. Falcons are more often seen in active chasing flights rather than the lazy flights typical of the harrier.
Widespread in low numbers throughout the Otago region, single birds can sometimes be seen passing through Dunedin itself.