Central Otago is home to New Zealand’s endangered native falcon, the Kārearea. A bird small for its nature yet strong and fearless in its survival was specifically chosen as one of the symbols that represent the region of Central Otago.
In symbolic language, the falcon is associated with noble-natured people, strength, bravery, ingenuity, and high spirits, evoking freedom and pride as it soars above the land.
As proud as they are beautiful
It is this land of extremes and open tussock country that provides the perfect conditions for the Kārearea. Its unpretentious nests are simply scratched into the steep craggy hillsides, underneath rocks or on rocky ledges. Most falcons are migratory but the Kārearea stays here for life.
See with your own eyes the flying finesse of a falcon courtship - a magical 'sky dance'. Listen for its call as this sky hunter soars with a sense of freedom in its lonely, vigilant hunt for prey - scanning the stark golden land, the valleys, the vineyards, the riverbanks.
Many factors, including predators and human impact, compromise the existence of this beautiful bird. Only a resurgence of awareness and continued education will ensure they are not lost forever in the Central Otago landscape. They are a reminder of how our actions affect the delicate balance of the natural world around us.
We too can soar here