In search of elusive New Zealand birds

Royal spoonbills nesting.
New Zealand is populated amongst birds you lot volition consider nowhere else. Until Westerners arrived, bats were the exclusively mammals, a specie of eagle the exclusively predator. Other birds came inward all sizes from ostrich-high Moas to wren-small Titipounamu. Many similar the Moas as well as Kiwi, didn't fly. They didn't involve to. Freezing inward house was their defense forcefulness against eagles, the exclusively predator.

Once man, peculiarly Western human arrived amongst dogs, cats, stoats as well as other predators, that changed. Today many birds are extinct, including all of the Moas (you tin consider what Moas looked similar at the first-class Otago Museum inward Dunedin), as well as many to a greater extent than are inward precarious numbers.

Naturally, those are the ones you lot desire to consider along amongst the albatross, gannets as well as penguins. I saw gannets on the North Island, the others on the South Island.

Frankly, your best bet is to take in a zoo for kiwi, the country's official bird, its colorful parrots as well as other non-flying birds. However, if you lot insist on seeing them inward the wild, hither are approximately tips.


They are extremely shy as well as nocturnal. They frequent isolated beaches as well as so Levelers, you'll possess got sand rather than steps to arrive at out with. Midnight excursions aren't inexpensive as well as most New Zealanders possess got never seen i except inward a zoo.
Stewart Island simply off the South Island is where many birders become inward search of this elusive as well as shy creature.

Penguin spotted during a Monarch Wildlife cruise.
The tiny Blue penguin is extremely rare but I saw several during an overnight cruise inward Doubtful Sound. You mightiness likewise spot i or 2 inward the H2O during a Monarch Wildlife Cruise exterior of Dunedin.

Juvenile manly individual yellow-eyed penguin, Penguin Place
Yellow-eyed penguins are likewise endangered. I encountered a few on the overnight inward Doubtful as well as a hateful solar daytime cruise inward Milford Sound. Also saw a juvenile manly individual as well as approximately other 2 at beaches along the Southern Scenic Route. Usually spotted inward the morning time when the males piece of job out to feed as well as at dusk when they return.

Tip: Levelers, binoculars as well as a real long lens for your photographic tv set camera volition hold out necessary to consider or capture images from easily accessed overlooks. Otherwise, await hills, uneven Blue Planet as well as steps.

Female yellow-eyed penguin nesting, Penguin Place.
You are jump to consider at to the lowest degree i penguin at Penguin Place, a individual conservation endeavour supported past times tours on the Otago Peninsula. What you lot consider depends on the fourth dimension of year. I was in that location midday inward Nov during the breeding flavor which way I saw that exhausted juvenile male, peekaboo glimpses of 2 females nesting as well as i injured penguin existence rehabbed inward the infirmary.

Tip: Find out what flavor you're inward to arrive at upwardly one's take away heed if it's worth the steps as well as climbs. Take the tour as well as you'll ride every bit closed every bit possible inward buses, but you lot volition run across uneven ground, changes inward elevation as well as steps.

Hold your hands out as well as compare it to this to consider simply how large an albatross tin be.
These magnificent birds frequent New Zealand waters as well as cliffs to feed as well as breed. The Royal Albatross Centre is at Taiaroa Head at the tip of the Otago Peninsula, nearly a 45-minute get from Dunedin. As the world's exclusively mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross it's your best lead chances to consider the birds on solid reason mating, nesting as well as raising their chicks.

What you lot consider depends on the season.

Viewing site
Viewing is from an former World War II gun emplacement amongst dirty, cloudy windows as well as you lot don't consider much unless a twosome takes upwardly residence nearby.

Halfway there.
Tip/Warning: It is a l-o-o-o-ng way upwardly from the Centre to the gun emplacement as well as I wouldn't become all the way upwardly unless the albatross are billing as well as cooing or the chicks are hatched. You tin consider the nesting females amend from the H2O on a Monarch Cruise.

Red-billed gulls nesting

Red-billed gulls making chicks.
However, the antics of the breeding colony of red-billed gulls brand at to the lowest degree a partial climb worthwhile.

From hither you lot tin see Pilots Beach, where a colony of blue penguins live, but the lilliputian buggers are as well as so pocket-sized you lot in all probability won't spot them.

White-capped albatross taking a suspension from angling inward waters betwixt Stewart as well as Ulva Islands.

I saw as well as photographed albatross closed upwardly on the Bluff ferry to as well as peculiarly from Stewart Island. 

Takahe at Te Anau Wildlife Centre.
Kaka, Kea, Tui, Takahe, Weka, Parakeets as well as Pigeons
Saw all of these at the Te Anau Wildlife Centre, a free, self-guided conservation surface area on Lake Te Anau inward the South Island's Fiordland. You may non consider all of them; much depends on what the non-aviary birds are doing - or non doing.

World's largest accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.
The world's largest accessible colony of gannets settles at Cape Kidnappers inward the Hawkes Bay surface area of the North Island.

A large strand of seaweed is the way to a daughter gannet's heart.
Tip: Gannet Safaris volition possess got you lot upwardly the winding, bumpy rails to inside a human foot or 2 of the birds. After experiencing the climb, it's a bargain.

All inward all, fifty-fifty non birding enthusiasts volition instruct a kicking out of seeing these winged - or non - species, whether inward a zoo or inward the wild.

Personally, the to a greater extent than I go the bigger my bucket needs to hold out to fit an ever-expanding list. How nearly you?

May nosotros all possess got bigger buckets as well as to a greater extent than fulfilled wishes inward 2012.

In search of elusive New Zealand birds