For a peek at some of Fiordland’s birds that are sometimes difficult to see in the wild, visit the Te Anau Wildlife Centre on the shore of Lake Te Anau. It’s a great place for children and families, and an easy 10 minute walk from Te Anau.
The rare, flightless takahē
Location and getting there
The Te Anau Wildlife Centre is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and is a 10 minute walk from the Te Rua-o-te-
Moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.
Open times and cost
The centre is open from dawn to dusk and can cater for guided tours if booked in advance through the Visitor Centre. Entry is free, but a gold coin donation is appreciated.
Birds you might see at the Wildlife Centre
The rare flightless takahē are the stars of the Wildlife Centre and meeting these prehistoric-looking characters are a ‘must do’ for Fiordland visitors. For a special opportunity to observe these unique birds, join a DOC ranger as they feed them each morning. Confirm feeding times at the Visitor Centre.
Find out more about takahē.
Another popular personality, the kea is an alpine parrot well known for its intelligence (and cheekiness!). Watch for the brilliant colours under their wings when they fly.
Peeking at birds, Te Anau Wildlife Centre
Find out more about kea.
You can also enjoy close up views of these birds:
You can also see ducks and geese in the waterfowl enclosure, including introduced mallard ducks and Canadian geese.
The birds held in aviaries here have either been injured and cannot survive in the wild, or they have been involved in captive rearing programmes. The injured birds are rehabilitated and if possible, released back into the wild when they are strong enough.
An added bonus for visitors is the variety of free-flying birds seen around the centre. Many are attracted by the food available from the native trees and shrubs that have been planted around the park. Native pigeons, tūī, silvereyes, grey warblers, starlings, tomtits, bellbirds and pied and black fantails appear from time to time, often feeding in the bush at the lake’s edge. Small groups of greenfinches and chaffinches also visit at intervals, while both harriers and, less commonly, falcons make occasional appearances, attracted by other birds. As well as brown teal, mallard, grey and paradise ducks, you may see black-backed gulls, black-billed gulls, little shags and, occasionally, the rare crested grebe or the brillant blue of the kingfisher.
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