Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019 New Zealand Bird Conference and 80th Birds New Zealand AGM

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 Registration is closed for this event

The 2019 New Zealand Bird Conference and the 80th Annual General Meeting of The Ornithological Society of New Zealand will be held at the Brentwood Hotel, Kilbirnie, Wellington between 1st and 3rd June 2019 (Queens Birthday Weekend). 

The conference will comprise two days of scientific presentations and five field trip options.  The Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon, 1st June. 

This 80th celebratory conference aims to continue the fine work of previous events in making this the premier New Zealand conference for the communication of new research findings on New Zealand birds and for providing opportunities for discussion and networking for professional ornithologists, students and others who are interested in birds and their habitats.

We look forward to presenting several keynote lectures of a diversity of topics, including Wellington birds, Auckland Islands, old bones and ancient DNA, genetics and taxonomy, physiology and reproduction, and seabirds.  We hope that a range of shorter talks will describe studies on a wide range of topics and in doing so we look forward to bringing together researchers and all who are interested to share their knowledge and findings to make this conference a dynamic, informative and memorable event.

A display of photography and a photographic competition is being arranged, and a T-shirt/sweat shirt competition is being organised by the Young Birders Group.

We look forward to hosting you in Wellington at Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2019. 


The primary method of registration will be internet-based.  Registration details and further information about the programme, field trips and accommodation options are set out below.  A registration form and information pack for members not having internet access can be obtained by contacting your Regional Representative or by writing to Geoff de Lisle,, Birds New Zealand Conference, 244 Blue Mountains Road, RD1, Upper Hutt 5371.

Online registration has now closed.


All events, the AGM and meals will be at the Brentwood Hotel, Kilbirnie, Wellington.

31 May 2019 (Friday)
5 pm – 7 pm                            Registration

1 June 2019 (Saturday)
8 am – 9 am                            Registration
9 am – 4.15 pm                       Scientific Day One
4.20 pm – 6 pm                       Annual General Meeting
4.20 pm – 6 pm                       Young Birders Group meeting
7.30 pm                                   Informal Dinner

2 June 2019 (Sunday)
8 am – 9 am                            Registration
8.30 am – 5.30 pm                  Scientific Day Two
7.30 pm                                   Conference Dinner, awards and prizes and after-dinner quiz. 

3 June 2019 (Monday)
All day and part day.                Field Trips in the Wellington Region.


Society members and others are invited and encouraged to submit Abstracts for oral presentations and may cover any aspect of ornithology.  A poster session will be included that enables presenters to make 3-minute talks (‘speed’ talks).  Posters will be displayed on the theatre walls for the duration of the conference, and can cover any aspect of ornithology. 

Detailed instruction for submitting abstracts can be found in the Call for Abstracts
Please contact the organisers (Geoff de Lisle with any questions. 

Deadline for Abstract submission: 19th April 2019.


  • Training for the New Zealand Bird Atlas Scheme
    A half-day training exercise will provide hands-on experience in field practices for applying the NZ Bird Atlas Scheme to be launched at the conference.  It will be held in the Wainuiomata Valley, near Lower Hutt.  The focus will be training in the use of the eBird smartphone app to record bird observations in the field.  Participants can expect to see various forest birds including red-crowned parakeet, tomtit, NZ pigeon, whitehead, and possibly rifleman and NZ falcon.  Participation will be capped at 25 persons; members only.  Costs will be borne by Council (free to members).  Transport will be by private cars.
  • Zealandia - Karori Sanctuary
    A visit to Zealandia – Karori Sanctuary will enable visitors to see the award-winning ecological exhibition and to view several bird species that have been transferred to this inner city mainland island, including North Island saddleback, brown teal, North Island robin, whitehead, stitchbird, kaka and red-crowned parakeet.  Visits are self-guided in the valley, moving about individually or in small groups. Entry: $19.50.  Concession for seniors and students: $16.50. Payment should be made directly to Zealandia at the time of entry.  Bus transport (if required): $25.
  • Kapiti Coast, Waikanae and Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve, Porirua
    The Waikanae River Estuary, the adjacent Waimanu Lagoon and Pharazyn Reserve are well-known localities for waders, ducks and other birds on the Kapiti Coast.  The Pauatahanui Wildlife Management Reserve at the eastern end of Porirua Harbour enables visitors to view several wetland bird species, also fernbirds. Bus transport (if required): $55.  A half-day option to visit Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve can be arranged if there is a demand for it. Bus transport (if required): $45.             
  • Collections of birds at Te Papa Tongarewa – National Museum
    Four, two-hour visits for a maximum of 48 members (members only, first in-first served), will provide a unique opportunity to view part of the un-displayed collection of birds at Te Papa Tongarewa – National Museum, including extinct and fossil birds. No lunch provided. Transport & donation to Te Papa: $30.
  • Pelagic cruise into Cook Strait     NOTE (11/3/19): this field trip is now fully booked
    A pelagic cruise will provide an opportunity to view seabirds in Cook Strait, notably albatrosses, petrels and prions.  This event is dependent on the weather and on demand.  The limit is 20 persons with a preference to Birds New Zealand members.  The cruise will depart from Seaview, Lower Hutt at 7am. The price includes lunch provided by the launch owner and operator.  Cruise: $100. Bus transport (if required): $35.

Additional Field Trips may be arranged privately by members but are not a part the Birds New Zealand Conference Programme. Details are available here.


Members are invited to submit photographs of New Zealand or overseas birds for display and to be entered into a competition to judge the best three photographs.  Each photographer may enter up to three photographs, to be handed in at the registration desk not later than 9 am Saturday, 1st June.  Judging will be by popular vote by conference participants.  The winners will be announced at the Conference Dinner and prizes awarded to the winning entries. Instructions are available here.


During the conference, we will be keeping an eye out for the "best bird shirt" worn by any person attending the conference.  A “shirt” is defined as any kind of T-shirt, sweat shirt or other short or long-sleeved shirt.  Judges may approach you to ask if you wish to enter and photographs of you and your shirt may be requested.  Small prizes will be awarded to winners at the Conference Dinner. 


Please book early for travel to Wellington.  Taxis, shuttle buses and bus services are available from Wellington Airport, from the two Cook Strait ferry terminals and from Wellington Railway Station.  Intercity Coaches and other bus lines run services to Wellington from several North Island cities.  Wellington City and Airport Flyer bus services pass through Kilbirnie.  SuperGold card holders can travel free of charge at weekends and on public holidays on Wellington City and Airport Flyer buses, on suburban trains and on the harbour ferry.


Please book early for your accommodation in Wellington as the city is always busy at Queen’s Birthday Weekend.  A block of accommodation has been reserved at a concessionary rate at Brentwood Hotel, Kilbirnie, Wellington for Councillors and others who wish to stay here.  Contacts at the Brentwood Hotel are, Phone (04) 920-0400.  Reservations should be made directly with the Brentwood Hotel Reception quoting "NZ Bird Conference - GROUP NUMBER 79204". The rate is $147.50 per night, inc. GST.  Meals are additional costs.  

Alternative accommodation options within 10 – 25 minutes driving from Brentwood Hotel are listed below.  Reservations and payment should be made directly with the hotel or motel of your choice.

747 Motel & Car Hire. 80 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie, Wellington.  Ph: 04 939-1747.
Bella Vista Motel Wellington. 302-304 Evans Bay Parade, Wellington.  Ph: 04 939-4430.
Airport Motel. 142 Tirangi Rd, Rongotai, Wellington. Ph: 04 939-7999.
Adelaide Motel. 209-211 Adelaide Rd, Newtown, Wellington.  Ph: 04 389-8138.
Base Backpackers Wellington. 21/23 Cambridge Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington. Ph: 04 801-5666.


Please contact the organisers if you have queries on any aspect of this conference:

Wellington Regional Representative:  Geoff de Lisle.  Ph: 0272110029
Postal address: OSNZ 2019 Conference, 244 Blue Mountains Road, RD1, Upper Hutt 5371.

Conference Manager:  Ian Armitage.  Ph 0272308454


Privacy Act
The information provided on this form and collected through the registration process will be used solely for the purposes of organising, planning and managing this Conference.  If you do not wish to have your name published as part of the conference proceedings or made available to other delegates please advise us of this.

The organisers accept no responsibility whatsoever in the event that unforeseen circumstances (industrial or otherwise) disrupt the organisation or management of this conference.  The information provided 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.

Brentwood Hotel
16 Kemp Street
New Zealand