Introduced by Kenneth Young.
It was an environmental concern that determined Rod Biss's 'Four New Zealand Bird Songs'.
Tara-iti (New Zealand’s Fairy Tern) is one of New Zealand’s most endangered bird species. It nests mainly on Te Arai Beach, north of Auckland. When Biss learnt of the imminent development of land there by a wealthy American (think golf course and dozens of expensive houses) he contacted an old friend, the poet Denys Trussell, also an environmentalist and musician. Together they produced this wonderful set of four songs.
The second song concerns the Tara-iti. The poem this one is based on, tells of the simple beauty and vulnerability of the Fairy Tern.
On tidal banks at Kaipara
Its eggs lie, naked as chance
Among crustacean’s emptied shells
Tara- iti, stay with us