The New Zealand Godwit (Limosa novæ-zelandiæ)

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THE Maori of New Zealand have an ancient saying or proverb, “Who can tell where the kuaka (the godwit) has its nest?” No doubt the Maori were well acquainted with the singular habit of these birds, in that they leave the shores of New Zealand, for a distant land across the seas, about the same time that other migratory birds, which have wintered on the Pacific Islands located nearer the tropics, are nesting and rearing their young in the New Zealand forests, to which country they periodically return for the summer season. Such, for example, are the long-tailed cuckoo and the small bronze-cuckoo, known to the Maori as “the bird of Hawaiki”—that is, the bird who returns to the land from whence the Maori ancestors originally came.

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WHITE, T. The New Zealand Godwit (Limosa novæ-zelandiæ). Nature 60, 29–30 (1899) doi:10.1038/060029c0

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