We have chosen a Morepork to be our mascot for this event. It is a little confused and muddled but so are many of us at times.
We are pleased to announce he has been named and is called Cachemore, thanks to fire woof for the name.
Want to hear what our mascot sounds like click here
A little about Moreporks:
- The ‘Ruru’ Morepork is New Zealand’s most widespread owl species.
- A bird of the bush and the night, it is also an important species in Maori mythology.
- The Morepork is the only remaining native owl species found in New Zealand apart from the Barn Owl, which has only very recently colonised New Zealand from Australia.
- It is also the only species of owl in New Zealand that inhabits forests. Top predators are required in order for ecological systems to function, keeping check on the organisms they feed on.
- With short rounded wings and ears and eyes adapted for low light and darkness they are a formidable and stealthy predator of our forests.
- Morepork eat a variety of food but focus on large insects such as weta, huhu beetles, moths and cicadas. They will also prey upon small mammals such as mice and young rats. Morepork also catch roosting birds unawares as they sleep at night!
- Being said to originate from the underworld, the Morepork (Ruru) is strongly associated with the spirit world in Maori mythology. For example, it is believed that if a Morepork sits conspicuously nearby or enters a house there will be a death in the family and in times gone by these strong beliefs led to some Taranaki Maori eating Morepork, believing that it would prolong their lives.
- The ancestral spirit of a family group can take the form of a Ruru in some Maori tradition. This spirit is known as Hine-ruru, the ‘owl woman’. It is believed that these owl spirits can act as kaitiaki or guardians and have the power to protect, warn and advise.
- While it’s high piercing ‘quee’ call spells bad news, its normal ‘more-pork’ call means that good news is on its way.