Art Work of the Week: Morepork

Another bird classic

Large, sensitive eyes

Waikanae-based artist, Cushla McGaughey, specialises in painting New Zealand birds. Naturally,

she thoroughly researches the habits and nature of the birds she draws!

Here’s what she says about the morepork.

The morepork is a forest bird that could adapt to urban living, but he needs enough cover to hide by day. If found, he’ll be mobbed by the feathered neighbourhood watch!

As night falls he comes into his own, taking flight on silent wings to hunt. 

His large sensitive eyes can see in dim light. His flexible neck allows him to turn his head through 270° and look to the side and to the rear. The feathers around his face help direct sound to his large ear openings.

 Acute hearing pinpoints his prey, mainly insects, spiders and mice, and sometimes the small birds which, by day, could have driven him off.