NZ Native Birds

Freddy the fearless NZ falcon, and an update on the status of native birds in the West Matukituki Valley

NZ falcon

There are cautionary things to be learnt from being under a bird – things that can come back to haunt us from childhood: I was about four years old when hand-in-hand with my mother, like my hand in hers while my other held a flavoured and much savoured ice cream. All was good I recall,…

Godwits in trouble on migration from New Zealand to breeding grounds in Alaska

NZ Godwits

Ecologist Rachel Hufton reports Many shorebird populations are in serious decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands (attributed to land reclamation) in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over/ re-fuelling sites for shorebirds during migration is believed to be the cause of this alarming trend. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland,…

Saving the critically threatened southern New Zealand dotterel

Southern dotterel New Zealand

Rachel Hufton of Illuminate Ecology, reports following a cannon netting bird banding trip at Awarua Bay, Invercargill, an important wintering site for the South Island New Zealand dotterel. A Nationally Critical Threatened Species of conservation concern. above: South Island dotterel with South Island pied oystercatcher and a bar-tailed godwit at high tide roost site, Awarua…

“The Boss” and Edwin – a tale of two kea in Mt Aspiring National Park

A few weeks ago I was involved in the capture and subsequent banding of a young kea. Probably a male, but that is not a certainty with any youngster. At the time while recording the banding with a camera, I was struck on how he took being held in his stride, and when relaxed started…

New Zealand’s alpine parrot the kea, has the beak and has the brain, but that’s not enough

NZ juvenile kea

New Zealand’s alpine parrot cuts right across the aloofness of a landscape and weather that takes no prisoners, greeting us with life and curiosity that never fails to get us smiling; a feathered and garrulous court jester of our mountains. The birds decline in numbers to under 5000 has been due to an historic century-long…