Story: Ngā manu – birds

‘The bittern at rest’

‘The bittern at rest’

This artwork of a matuku (bittern) was done by Richard Taylor around the mid-1800s. The title is 'The bittern at rest', but the image actually shows the bird trying to conceal itself. The matuku has a loud booming call – traditionally linked with people in mourning.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-296-q-055-4
Drawing by Richard Taylor

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kelly Keane-Tuala, 'Ngā manu – birds - Birds associated with death', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 October 2021)

Story by Kelly Keane-Tuala, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015