Before the development of international communication, the mysterious seasonal arrival and departure of thousands of migratory birds, such as these bar-tailed godwits, raised questions as to where they went. Nests, eggs or chicks of certain species are never seen in New Zealand. Māori believed that they returned to Hawaiki, the spiritual homeland, to breed. Godwits may have guided the first Polynesian settlers across the Pacific towards New Zealand.
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Photograph by Brian Chudleigh
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