From albatrosses to yellowheads you can learn more about some of New Zealand's native birds, and how we can protect them.
Albatrosses are the world's largest seabirds. Find out about the different species and the research and action underway to tackle the threats facing these ocean wanderers.
The endangered Australasian bittern/Matuku inhabits wetlands throughout New Zealand. DOC is focusing on developing methods for surveying bittern systematically and methods for restoring wetlands .
The Australasian crested grebe belongs to an ancient order of diving water birds. Three of the 22 species in this order have become extinct in the last 30 years. Lake Pearson/Moana Rua in Canterbury has been designated a wildlife refuge to help protect the grebe.
The at risk, naturally uncommon banded rail/moho pererū is a native subspecies which inhabits wetlands throughout New Zealand.
The bellbird, unique to New Zealand, is easily recognised by its melodious song. Although bellbirds are still widespread, mammalian predators keep their numbers low. Bellbirds are among the species benefitting from DOC's pest control work.
The recovery of the Chatham Islands black robin from the brink of extinction is an internationally renowned conservation success story.
Kakī, or black stilt, is a native wading bird, found only in New Zealand. They have been intensively managed since 1981, when their population declined to a low of just 23 birds.
The whio/blue duck is endemic to New Zealand. It is classified as a nationally vulnerable species, and unless the causes for its decline are remedied, the species faces a very real risk of becoming extinct.
The brown teal/pāteke is a small dabbling duck endemic to New Zealand.
This black and white wader is unique to the Chatham Islands. It is an endangered species with a high risk of extinction.
The critically endangered Chatham Island pigeon or parea is restricted to the Chatham Islands. Although similar in appearance to the New Zealand pigeon, it is around 20% heavier, making it one of the world's heaviest pigeons.
Found on the Chatham Islands off mainland New Zealand, the tāiko (Pterodroma magentae) is one of the world's rarest seabirds.
The Chatham Island tūī is a subspecies of the tūī found on mainland New Zealand. It is larger and has longer throat tufts than its mainland counterpart and the song is also significantly different.
Once widespread on the Chatham Islands, the Chatham petrel was until recently restricted to Rangatira Island but active management has allowed the population to grow on other islands.
Known for its friendly ‘cheet cheet’ call and energetic flying antics, the aptly named fantail is one of the most common and widely distributed native birds on the New Zealand mainland.
The at risk fernbird/mātātā is an endemic species which inhabits wetlands throughout New Zealand.
The Fiordland crested penguin or tawaki, is one of the rarest of New Zealand’s mainland penguins.
The grey warbler is a relatively inconspicuous grey bird that flits about the canopy of the forest but its call permeates the forest and takes the edge off a hard uphill slog for any attentive tramper.
The nationally endangered Hutton's shearwater/tītī is the only New Zealand seabird that breeds in a sub-alpine environment.
The kākā is a large parrot belonging to the nestorinae family, a group that includes the kea and the extinct Norfolk Island kākā.
The kākāpō (night parrot) is one of New Zealand’s unique treasures and with only 124 known surviving birds. It is listed internationally as a critically endangered species.
The New Zealand kea is an endemic parrot found in the South Island's high country.
Learn about the kiwi, the national icon of New Zealand and unofficial national emblem.
The kōkako belongs to the endemic New Zealand wattlebirds, an ancient family of birds which includes the North and South Island saddleback and the extinct huia.
The world’s smallest penguin, little penguin (also known as little blue penguin) stand just over 25 centimetres and weigh around one kilogram. They spend much of their time at sea hunting small fish, crustaceans and squid.
The at rsk Baillon's crake/marsh crake/koitareke is an endemic subspecies which inhabits wetlands throughout New Zealand.
The morepork is New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. It is known for its haunting, melancholic call.
The North Island robin, also known as toutouwai, is a friendly and trusting bird and is found in both native and exotic forests.
Learn about unique Northland brown kiwi, the special challenges these kiwi face, especially from dogs - and how you can make a difference.
The endangered New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu is found only in this country.
With a population of around 36 individuals that includes only ten breeding pairs, the New Zealand fairy tern/tara-iti is probably New Zealand's rarest breeding bird.
Capable of flying at speeds over 100 km/h and catching prey larger than itself, the NZ falcon/kārearea is one of New Zealand's most spectacular birds.
Kākāriki are beautiful forest birds. There are five main species of kākāriki: yellow-crowned parakeet, orange-fronted parakeet, red-crowned parakeet, Forbes' parakeet and Antipodes Island parakeet.
New Zealand's native pigeon is the only seed disperser we have. The disappearance of the kererū would be a disaster for our native forests.
The New Zealand robin or toutouwai is a sparrow-sized bird found only in New Zealand. They are friendly and trusting, often coming to within a couple of metres of people.
Orange-fronted parakeets, or kākāriki karaka, are small forest-dwelling birds. Classified as ‘nationally critical’, the species has a high risk of extinction with only 100 – 200 birds in the wild.
The paradise shelduck is New Zealand’s only shelduck, a worldwide group of large, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl that have goose-like features.
In this section you'll find general information about penguins found in New Zealand.
The pukeko is probably one of the most recognised native birds in New Zealand with its distinctive colourings and habit of feeding on the ground.
The toroa or royal albatross is a graceful giant with a wing span of over three metres. Renowned ocean wanderers, they travel vast distances from their breeding grounds to feed.
The saddleback or tīeke belongs to New Zealand's unique wattlebird family, an ancient group which includes the endangered kōkako and the extinct huia.
The silvereye – also known as the wax-eye, or sometimes white eye – is a small olive green forest bird with white rings around its eyes.
Confined to the subantarctic Snares Islands, the Snares crested penguin nests in dense colonies under forest.
The at risk spotless crake/pūweto is a native subspecies which inhabits wetlands throughout New Zealand.
The stitchbird/hihi is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds.
Subantarctic teal include the Auckland Island teal and the distinctly different Campbell Island teal.
The flightless takahē is a colourful green and blue bird with an impressive red beak and short stout legs. The takahē are classified as an endangered species.
The New Zealand tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) looks similar to a robin. They are a small bird with a large head, a short bill and tail, and live in forest and scrub.
Tūī are unique (endemic) to New Zealand and belong to the honeyeater family, which means they feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants.
The weka is a large, brown flightless bird that has a famously feisty and curious personality.
The Westland petrel (tāiko) is endemic to New Zealand and breeds only on the West Coast of the South Island.
The white heron (or kōtuku) has always been rare in New Zealand and it has attained almost mythical status, revered by both Māori and pakeha for its elegant white feathers.
The whitehead/pōpokotea has a series of clear tuneful calls that fill the forest with a pleasant cacophony of sound when they appear in flocks high in the canopy of the forest.
Unique to New Zealand, the hoiho, or yellow-eyed penguin, is thought to be the world's rarest penguin.
The mohua/yellowhead is a small, insect eating bird which lives only in the forests of New Zealand's South Island and Stewart Island.
New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds
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