I love this bird - the Ruru according to Maori or Morepork as the white settlers named it.
The haunting night call is well etched in my memory from days of camping, tramping and living near the bush in Wellington and elsewhere.
Listen HERE (there's an audio file).
A family of Ruru live in one of the nearby pohutukawa trees and it's lovely to hear them at night.
Over Easter, we were sitting on the deck after dinner. It was a pleasant still evening and we stayed there as it got dark and watched the stars emerging. A special thing happened which I hadn't experienced before. A Ruru flew up and sat on the telephone wire above our head - really close.
It sat there watching us for quite a while.