Weird birds in aotearoa

Hi everyone.
A few weeks ago I was bird watching and saw a really weird bird. I did not get a very good look because it flew in front of the sun then behind a hedge but I know what I saw. I could not tell the color but it was about the size of a common starling but it had a tail about 30-50cm long! I would say it was a long-tailed cuckoo which we have in New Zealand but we don’t get them around here I was wounding if anyone had any ideas.

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I don’t find anything else that would fit your description. https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?lang=ENG&p2=1&list=clements&region=NZ&version=images&lifelist=&highlight=0

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I’ve had similar situation before, with paperwasps… I get Polistes chinensis very commonly in my backyard, but one year a wasp flew by me that I could have sworn was P. humilis. At the time I made a photo less observation to record it. I eventually did find P. humilis at other locations around Gisborne (including in the same tree as P. chinensis!), but never again in my backyard.

I subsequently went back and deleted the photoless observation, because I can’t say for sure that it was. In hindsight, I should have left the observation there but at genus level, with a comment in the description that it was only seen briefly, and the possibility that it was P. humilis.

So I think that is what you should do… make a photoless observation at Aves, and in the description make a detailed account of what you think you saw. That observation might get seen by other birdwatchers, who then might keep an eye out in that location for it. Or perhaps they remember that observation when they encounter and get a photo of a similar bird, and so on…

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Migrating long-tailed cuckoos can show up anywhere on their way to more suitable habitat, so that might have been what you saw.

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Maybe that bird just came there for the first time!

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