Registration is closed for this event

The 2018 New Zealand Bird Conference and the 79th Annual General Meeting of Birds New Zealand will be held in Paihia  Northland during 2-4th June 2018 (Queens Birthday Weekend). We look forward to welcoming you to the sunny Far North for what should be a fantastic weekend of birds and birding.

The conference will comprise two days of scientific papers and workshops,with field trips to local birding highlights on the third day. The AGM will be held on Saturday afternoon.

The conference again aims to continue the fine work of previous conferences in making this the premier New Zealand event for the communication of new research findings on New Zealand birds while providing opportunity for discussion, networking and workshops for bird researchers and birders in New Zealand.

The format of the conference will be similar to the most recent conferences, with the first two days largely being devoted to scientific presentations. A variety of workshops are planned for the Sunday morning. 

As in previous years we look forward having a number of local speakers sharing some of the latest research knowledge with you. Alongside this we look forward to bringing together researchers and Society Members from across the country to share their knowledge and findings to make for a dynamic and informative event. 


The 2018 conference will again use online registration as the main method of registration. A printed registration form will not be included in Birds NZ. The registration form and further information about the programme, field trips, workshops and accommodation options are set out below.

Early Bird registration for Society members is now open until 31 March 2018. An invitation to present either a talk or a poster is included in this notice. 

For those without internet access, a registration form and information pack can be printed here or obtained by contacting your Regional Representative or by writing to Les Feasey, Birds NZ Conference, Les Feasey, 54 Oromahoe Road, Opua 0200.

We look forward to hosting you in Paihia over Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2018. Register online here.


All events and meals will take place at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi, Bay of Islands.
The full programme is available here.

1 June 2018  (Friday)

1800-1900                 Registration                                                                      

2 June 2018  (Saturday)

0800-0900                  Registration                                                                                                                   

0900-1700                  Scientific Day One                                                       

1700-1900                  Birds NZ AGM                                                                   

1900-1930                  Happy Hour                                                                       

1930-2100                  Informal Dinner                                                               

3 June 2018  (Sunday)

0800-0900                  Registration                                                                                               

0800-1030                  Workshops

1030-1730                  Scientific Day Two                         

1800-1900                  Happy Hour                                                                 

1930-2200                  Conference Dinner                                                         

4 June 2018  (Monday)

Field Trips                   Departing from Copthorne                                                             

4-5 June 2018 Two Day Field Trips

Mist Netting                 Relocating to  Russell, Orongo Bay 

Beach Wreck Patrol    Departing from Copthorne to Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Reinga    



Abstracts for oral presentations are being called for now and Society members are encouraged to submit abstracts. Oral presentations will be spread across the first two days of the conference, and can cover any aspects of ornithology. Themed sessions are welcome, so if you feel inspired to venture a topic and potential speakers, then please contact Les Feasey .Poster presentations will be on show for the duration of the conference, and can cover any aspect of ornithology. Full details are available in the Call for Abstracts. Please contact the organisers (Les Feasey with any questions. 

Detailed instruction for submitting abstracts can be found here.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31st March 2018


Possible workshops we are considering running are listed below. Please tick any of these workshops that you would be interested in attending when you register. This is to help in planning and does not commit you to attending at this stage (or us to offering this workshop).

  • NZ Birds Online - making a better website for everyone interested in New Zealand birds (Colin Miskelly)

This wonderful resource for birders was launched 5 years ago. Workshop participants will have a chance to discuss ways to make it even better.This is your chance to contribute ideas, plus learn how you can contribute to the website - including how to submit images (and which images are likely to be selected for publication).

  • Drone Workshop (Murray Dunn)

Drones have become more accessible and affordable. Ornithologists utilize drones to accurately record bird counts over the ridge, estuary, sandbank, or in difficult to access places. This workshop is a practical, hands-on opportunity to familiarize oneself with this technology. Limited attendance, outdoors.

  • Bird ID Workshop (Oscar Thomas)

Some birds are very distinctive and stand out from ‘the crowd’. Others, however are very similar in size, colour and body shape – they blend into the mass. An expert will assist with the tell-tale recognition of similar looking species.

  • eBird and the National Bird Monitoring Scheme (Nikki McArthur)

This is a two-part workshop aimed at providing members with the opportunity to have input into two of the Society’s largest schemes. Part one of the workshop will be a question-and-answer session about the New Zealand eBird database. Nikki will provide an update on a number of new tools and features that have been introduced to eBird over the last 12 months, and will share some ideas on how members’ can contribute to the eBird database without necessarily going outside and getting their feet dirty. There will also be an opportunity for members to bring along their eBird questions and problems for discussion. Part two of the workshop will provide members with an update on the development of a new National Bird Monitoring Scheme for the Society, and will present an early view of what the survey may look like on the ground. This will be an early opportunity for members to contribute their feedback, and to influence the design and direction of this exciting and ground-breaking new project.

  • Birding Smarter Workshop (Russell Cannings)

Whether you enjoy spending hours scoping a local estuary or glancing up on your stroll to the dairy, many birds can be easily found. But is it possible to bird 'smarter'? Join Russell and explore the strategies and tools we can all use to target more difficult species such as seabirds, waders, nocturnal birds, and rare vagrants. This can involve the use of weather reports, radar imagery, tide charts, and reporting Apps, but most importantly--a keen understanding of the birds themselves.

  • Moult Workshop (Gillian Vaughan)

This workshop is intended to brief participants on advances in recording moults in New Zealand Birds, in particular how to use all those not quite perfect photos. We take a lot of photos these days, and many of the don’t come out quiet the way we want - but there can be useful information in them anyway. Learn how to record wing moult from photos and contribute to the birds New Zealand moult scheme.  If you’ve got photos with the birds wing outstretched bring the along on your a device, there will also be printed pictures to work from.

What you learn will also be valuable for birds in the hand - so if you are an aspiring bander struggling with moult recording or you do beach patrol and want to get more out of your finds this will be for you.



Please note all trip costs include transport, and the full-day field trips includes a simple packed lunch, except where noted.

1 June (Friday) + 4 June (Monday)

  • Ninepin Trench  -  Late update:  additional pelagic trips!

These field trips will visit the Ninepin Trench at the shelf edge, a productive area 10 nautical miles off the coast of the Bay of Islands which is a good spot for a range of shearwaters, petrels, albatrosses/mollymawks and storm-petrels. The boat (Manawanui) is a 72ft yacht in survey for eco-cruises and charter (see 

Departure from Paihia wharf at 7.30am on Friday, June 1 and Monday June 4. Return times are 6pm approximately. A sandwich lunch and hot drinks are provided.  

4 June (Monday) 

  • Urupukapuka Island

Urupukapuka Island is the biggest island in the Bay of Island. It is a predator free and translocations include Saddleback, North Island Tomtit, North Island Robin, Australasian Pipit and Banded Rail have been seen. This will be a good place for family field trip at your own pace. The boat departs Paihia at 8:30am, or (if numbers are sufficient) from the Copthorne wharf. Return trip will be 2:45pm to Paihia or 4:30pm to the Copthorne wharf. There is a restaurant on the Island or you can self cater. Lunch is not included, but available from the Copthorne for $20pp.

  • Puketi Forest Tour

This field trip will visit the Scudder’s Beach, Stanner’s Road, Puketi Forest, Lake Waiporohita, Dick Ulrich Road End and Lake Rotokawau to see species usually in these areas. We will leave the Copthorne hotel at 8:45am and return by 4:00pm. Lunch is included.

  • Waitangi Estuary Kayaking

The coastline around the Waitangi area contains a variety of different habitats and therefore different species of birds. As many as 50 New Zealand Dotterel “flock up”, VOC and SIPO frequent the beach and grassland, a Pied Shag colony is located on the coastal forest, Sacred Kingfishers, Pied Stilts, Royal Spoonbill, White-faced Heron and other shorebirds are some of the species you will encounter during this paddle and walk field trip.

This is a half-day field trip, departing at 11 am from the beach at the Paihia end of the Waitangi Bridge. You will walk through native bush, then on a board walk through mangrove forest up to the Haruru Falls. The walk is 5 km and requires a medium level of fitness. At the end of the walk you will climb into kayaks and a guide will lead the group to the base of the falls and then down the estuary, paddling through the mangrove forest to the mouth of the Waitangi River.If a strong easterly wind is blowing the field trip will be reversed – you will paddle up the Waitangi River so the wind is behind you and walk down the board walk and forest back to the Beach Base. Return time around 2:00pm. Lunch is not included in the price, but available from the Copthorne for $20pp.

4-5 June (Monday+Tuesday)  - Two Day Field Trips    

  • Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Reinga (Members only)

This is a two day field trip, set by tide times and weather dependent. Meals and accommodation are included in the price. Four SUV’s leave the Copthorne Hotel at 8:30am on Monday and travel to the largest winter Royal Spoonbill colony in New Zealand. From here the trip will depart to Cape Reinga, stopping at another overwintering site for shorebirds in the Parengarenga Harbour. After dinner at the hotel, Barn Owls are on the schedule. On Tuesday morning depart at 7:25am for 90 Mile Beach. Travel up 90 Mile Beach allowing 2-3 people to disembark at 3 Km intervals. Each group will walk the 3 kilometre stretch of beach recording, collecting species or specimens.  Vehicles will return and collect everyone in time to exit the beach 2 hours before high tide. It is envisioned you will be back at Waitangi by 5:00 pm on Tuesday.

  • Orongo Bay Mist Netting (Members only)

This is a two day field trip conducted at the Orongo Bay Holiday Park in Russell.  The Park has bush and grassland areas with a significant bird population, including small Passerines, Kiwi, Weka, Brown Teal and Bittern. This field trip will give each participant a hands on opportunity to mist net including; service the net, remove birds from the net, band birds, record moult, weight and sex.  Those desiring certification and who demonstrate the required proficiency may be certified. The camp will start at 9:00am on Monday and finish on Tuesday at 12:00 noon (unless notified otherwise).The final cost is subject to change as the catering is still being agreed. 


Please book early for cheap flights to Kerikeri. There are taxis available from the airport to Paihia, and on most flights there will be others coming to the conference who could share costs, so look out for each other on arrival. A shuttle costs approximately $35.00 pp.

Intercity Coaches, Mana and other bus lines run services from Auckland to Paihia.


The conference will be held at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi and we have arranged concessionary rates at the Hotel. Please make sure you ask for the NZ Birds Conference discounted rates (superior or economy), and a breakfast option is also offered.

There is also a large range of alternative accommodation within a few minutes walk from the conference venue, eg
Waitangi Holiday Park
Bay Of Islands Holiday Apartments
Te Tiriti Resort

Reservations should be made with the accommodation of your choice. Location maps are shown on their websites.


If you need to speak to someone regarding the conference, contact the Conference organisers on 027 225 7754 or


Privacy Act

The information on this form will be used solely for the purposes of organising and planning the Conference. If you do not wish to have your name published as part of this conference or made available to other delegates please advise us of this.


In the event of unforeseen circumstances (industrial or otherwise) that disrupt the conference the organisers accept no responsibility. The information on the conference website and in the printed material is correct at the time of publication.  However, the conference organisers reserve the right to change information if required and to adjust the conference programme accordingly.

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Tau Henare Drive
PO Box 150
Paihia, 0200
New Zealand
Indicate membership
Yes $ 0.00
no $ 0.00