Thursday, April 27, 2017


Sun, 23/04/2017 - 08:43

A paper has just been published on shorebird decline due to disappearing mudflats in the Yellow Sea. Read the full version here.

This study was based on decades of bird counting by volunteers across New Zealand and Australia.

Birds NZ members have hugely contributed to this important study by participating in the National Wader Count scheme over the past 50 years!

Read our latest media release here.

Shoreline habitats for the migrating birds are turned into dry land through a process known as reclamation. Image: Nick Murray

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 13:17

Notornis is an important means for information on New Zealand birds to be published and made accessible to all. It is the longest running project supported by the society, with a proud publication history dating back to 1943.

There have been peaks and lows in Notornis production over the years, largely due to the rate of submissions, and the effectiveness of the editor. We have been fortunate to have had very efficient editors over the past decade, but we are currently struggling to get enough copy to fill issues. If you have a near-to-complete manuscript that you haven’t quite got round to submitting, please brush the dust off it and get it to the editor (Leigh Bull) promptly.

Birds New Zealand Council is offering two new awards to encourage members across the threshold of getting your work published for the first time:

Birds New Zealand Student Publication Award
An annual award of $500 for the best Notornis publication where a student or recent graduate is the sole or lead author. Applicants must be current members of Birds New Zealand, and must state when submitting their manuscripts that they wish to apply for the award, and that they are currently enrolled in a New Zealand education institute or have graduated in the last 3 years. There is no restriction on the number of submissions that a student may make in the course of their studies, and the award is open to students of all ages.

Birds New Zealand New Author Award
An annual award of $300 for the best Notornis publication where the sole or lead author has not previously published in Notornis or any other scientific journal. Applicants must be current members of Birds New Zealand, and must state when submitting their manuscripts that they are a first-time author and wish to apply for the award. The award can be applied for once only. Students are able to apply for both awards (if eligible), but one award only will be granted to any one manuscript.

Birds New Zealand also offers an annual award for the best student presentation at the New Zealand Bird Conference.

I look forward to reading about your research in Notornis!

David Lawrie


Tue, 11/04/2017 - 08:51

A recently published paper in the journal Biological Conservation highlights how eBird data is used in the real world to support conservation actions! Read the latest eBird news here

To download the full article (free until 18 May) visit 18 May, the article can be found at

Learn more about eBird here

Mon, 10/04/2017 - 10:35

The 2017 New Zealand Bird Conference and AGM of Birds New Zealand will be held in:

         Te Anau (Southland) over Queens Birthday Weekend (3-5 June 2017)

The conference is an opportunity for anyone interested in birds to gather and learn from each other. Saturday and Sunday are designated as scientific days, where both amateur and professional ornithologists present short papers on their work to increase knowledge of our bird life in New Zealand. The AGM will be held on Saturday afternoon, and field trips to local birding highlights will take place on Monday. 

Conference details and online registration are available here

Join us in Fiordland for a fantastic birding weekend! Please note - there is limited space available, so register now!


Mon, 10/04/2017 - 10:28

China has added critical migratory waterbird sites in the Bohai Gulf and Yellow Sea to the World Heritage Tentative List!

Read more here


Tue, 04/04/2017 - 19:04

Very good progress continues with data transcription in the Birds New Zealand Beach Patrol Data Entry Project. Read the latest progress report here.

Thank you all for your continuing support and, in particular, a big thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of several members who are making such an sustained effort in this regard.  Your support is very much appreciated. 

A batch of Beach Patrol Cards and Beach Patrol datasheets for the 2009 to 2011 period were scanned and loaded into the database today – this explains the increase in the number of ‘new scans’ waiting to be entered in the Data Entry Table Home Page.

Data entry progress

1,498 New Scans – yet to be entered.

Form type

Keyed once

Double entered


Beach patrol card




Beach patrol data sheet








Members who are not yet involved are welcome to contribute; just follow the instructions for registration shown on the Beach Patrol page

Sun, 02/04/2017 - 16:29

The March 2017 edition of Birds New Zealand magazine has been published, reporting on the first New Zealand sightings of Laughing Gull, Cox’s Sandpiper and Shy Albatross, rare records of Red-footed Booby, Wilson’s Phalarope, Asiatic Dowitcher and Spine-tailed Swift, and other notable bird sightings from around New Zealand reported during the past six months.

The new edition also features colour illustrated articles on Heritage Expeditions’ ‘Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific’ birding expedition to New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands in December 2016 by Michelle Bradshaw, a birdwatching tour of Botswana and Zambia in April 2016 by Elizabeth (Biz) Bell, Paul Garner-Richards, Brian Bell and Sue Bell, and the Australia-New Zealand Birding Week held on Norfolk Island in November 2016, by Ian and Gwyneth Armitage.

There are also reports on the seasonal at-sea movements of a Fiordland Crested Penguin or Tawaki, the results of a new genetic study of the extinct Scarlett’s Shearwater, a new study that aims to improve the conservation of the endangered Black-fronted Tern, news that the global population of the South Island Takahe has reached 306 birds, and the award of an Associate Emeritus Medal to Dr Brian Gill by the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The magazine also contains details of the Society’s 2017 Conference and AGM to be held in Te Anau, Fiordland, on Queen’s Birthday weekend, the quarterly report of the Society's President, David Lawrie, and reports from the regions.

Link to the online edition of the magazine:


Tue, 07/03/2017 - 12:00

The newly released book "Birds: A Field Companion" by Samuel Emerson Scheibel is now available to Birds NZ members at a discount of 20% off RRP ($14.95)!

Birds: A Field Companion is a comprehensive and portable book designed for observing and recording birds in the field for successful identification. This book contains five sections of charts and diagrams for specific bird types. Additionally, there are three supplemental sections for further detailed observations, annotating bird calls, and recording checklists.  With concise diagrams and charts for quickly sketching and noting your observations, you’ll have more time to view birds and make more accurate identifications. This book is small enough to fit in a coat pocket or backpack so it can be carried on your next trip into the field, or keep it next to your favorite window for watching birds at your feeder.

Just visit and enter the coupon code 88B7Q7PM to receive your 20% discount!

Offer expires 31 December 2017

Tue, 31/01/2017 - 00:00

From 17 to 21 April 2017 we will be running a "Birds NZ Youth Camp" in the Bay of Islands.
The event will be held at the Orongo Bay Holiday Park in Russell. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get a hands-on experience with birds and develop skills in bird ecology! Read more here

If you are a student in Year 10 of above and keen to join the camp, send us your applicaton!
Note - this year's camp is already fully booked but if you send us your application, we will put you on the waitlist! 

The 2017 Youth Camp is proudly sponsered by Fruzio!

Sat, 28/01/2017 - 10:51

The South Island Kokako Trust is offering a $5000 reward for information resulting in confirmation that it is still alive! Read more here.