Around September, watch out for their spectacular courtship displays around Westland. Male displays include a spectacular raising of the nuptial plumes, with the neck erect, the bill snapping, and the wing feathers flicking. Once a female is attracted, the pair preen each other and intertwine their long necks, wings, and bill. After breeding season, the birds disperse throughout the country, and you may see them on coastal freshwater wetlands or estuaries.
Adrienne Bucking is a Dunedin based educator, Wellbeing advocate, writer and heron lover. The lusty white feathers of this bird reminds Adrienne of her childhood obsession with David Bowie's Goblin King Jareth in the Labyrinth. Adrienne hopes to be as romantic, majestical and monogamous as the great white herons one day.