Starlings are quite beautiful when you look at them closely, especially when the light catches their dark iridescent plumage and white "stars". They have a murmuration most evenings somewhere along the river, often up by the Ewen Bridge. Although common in New Zealand, their numbers have sadly halved in the last thirty years in their native Europe where they form an important part of the ecosystem, such as controlling insects like grass grub. I snapped this guy last Friday when the weather was not so good, but he still caught a few rays of light in the top of a pōhutukawa. The other picture is from earlier in the year when a group of young starlings (you can tell they are young by the brown heads) were wheeling around over the Hikoikoi Reserve.
Halloween can be a fun way to connect with your community. But naturally not all homes in New Zealand will get involved.
If your house is open to trick or treaters this weekend, or if you know of some popular, local streets for trick or treating, please share these below.
The Sunday Star-Times is investigating unemployment in young people, particularly those who have just graduated high school or university and are struggling to find work, even part-time work, possibly because of Covid. If you or your child would be willing to speak to us please email email@example.com.