A familiar sight perched on prominent trees, posts and walls usually situated at the water’s edge; the Kotare is abundant throughout New Zealand.
Living in forests, river margins, lakes, estuaries, the Kotare’s diet is not limited to fish as its English name suggests. Anything small that moves is prey. Birds, mice, lizards and geckos are all on the menu. With remarkably keen eyesight, prey can be detected from a considerable distance. When captured, food is generally smashed to a pulp before being swallowed.
The Kotare’s scientific name Halycon sancta translated into English becomes “Sacred Kingfisher”, an apt name because of the respect this remarkably coloured bird is given in the Pacific. The Kotare was seldom eaten by the old time Māori nor was its brilliant plumage used for clothing and adornment. This is possibly due to the Kotare’s association with lizards and geckos which are regarded as sacred kaitiaki guardians and creatures to be respected.
Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa
Rex Homan was born 1940 in Thames, New Zealand of Māori, Irish and Scottish ancestry. He lived in Auckland in his early years before moving to the Bay of Plenty. Rex has earned international recognition as a wood sculptor in the 1960s and 1970s and began working in bronze in the 1980s. His current work is influenced by the culture of the Pacific and displays uniqueness in its diversity of form and dramatic flow of lines. Rex has exhibited in solo, group and jury shows. He has won several national awards for “National Wood Skills” and is represented in corporate and private collections worldwide.
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