Peter Leach said he stopped Wednesday at a rest stop in Arthur's Pass to take pictures of the scenery and he was snapping pictures of an unusual bird when a couple approached him with some distressing news, The Timaru Herald reported Monday.
"A Canadian couple walked by and said: 'We've just seen that bird take something out of your campervan,'" Leach said. "It took all the money I had. I was left with $40 (U.S. $33.83) in my pocket."
Leach said the bird made off with a small cloth bag containing $1,099.41. He said the bird apparently snatched it from his dashboard.
The tourist said he filed a police report in hope of getting his insurance company to replace the cash.
"The man I dealt with was very serious for the first few questions," Leach said of his police interview. "Then he said, 'Do you mind if I just stop to laugh?'"