As I was walking down Queen Street, I saw this old banana box and in the last moment noticed the beaks protruding. No idea what it was supposed to mean, but this was a well-staged scene of three plastic oystercatchers hiding under a box.
Max Cryer‘s Godzone Dictionary of Favourite New Zealand Words and Phrases has this to say about the phrase “box of birds” (which I have heard on a few occasions as response to “how are you?”, but it has not made it into my vocabulary):
“Feeling happy, exhilarated, fit and cheerful. First found in print in 1943, this phrase is thought to have originated in the New Zealand military during the Second World War and has remained popular largely because of its pleasing alliteration. After about 1980, the modification box of budgies developed…”
Solution: this is a sculpture by Rachel Walters, entitled “Critters”. See the Auckland Council website.