Monday, November 19, 2018


Thu, 15/11/2018 - 11:01

Still looking for that perfect Christmas gift?

Why not give someone a 2019 Birds NZ subscription and help encourage the study, use of knowledge and enjoyment of birds?

Just send us an email and tell us which membership option you would like to gift, and we send you the voucher!

Subscriptions are available from $17.50! See more details here.

Wishing you all the best for the festive Season!

Mon, 05/11/2018 - 21:15

Early bird registration for the 2019 Australasian Ornithological Conference (AOC) is now open! The symposia and plenary speakers have been finalised. 

The 2019 AOC will be held in Darwin from 3-5 July 2019.

The following awards and scholarships are available to help students attend the AOC:

Abstracts are due 4 December! A poster with key dates is available here

Tue, 30/10/2018 - 14:25

The seminar will be held on 1 & 2 December 2018 at The Learning Centre, New Zealand Maritime Museum, in Auckland.
Costs:  $40 each day (with catered lunch and teas)
Book here: 

The seminar sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Our seabird taonga – why seabirds are special
  • Threats facing seabirds
  • Seabirds and ecological restoration
  • Seabirds in science – tackling issues now with challenges for the next generations
  • Challenges facing marine protection for our region; re-establishing traditional pathways and connections
  • The value of long-term research
  • Looking ahead; tackling the threats, filling the knowledge gaps, and raising public awareness

Presenters include Graeme Taylor (DOC); Karen Baird (Forest & Bird/Birdlife International); Sheridan Waitai (Ngati Kuri); Todd Landers (Auckland Council); James Russell, Brendon Dunphy and Rochelle Constantine (University of Auckland); Nigel Adams and Mel Galbraith (Unitec); Stephanie Borrelle (Smiths Fellow, Universities of Georgia and Toronto); John Cockrem (Massey University); John Stewart (Tiritiri Matangi and Motuora Supporters Trusts) and the Dabchick NZ petrel detection dog team of Jo Sim and Rua.

The seminar will feature break-out, panel and open forum sessions to encourage participation including opportunities to quiz the experts

For participants involved in restoration projects, on islands or on the mainland, this will be great opportunity to discuss with experts the practicalities of seabird restoration.

The Hauraki Gulf Forum and the Northern NZ Seabird Trust will be launching a major report on threats to seabirds in northern Aotearoa New Zealand.

Book now:


Mon, 15/10/2018 - 16:04

I've been banding since making a day visit to the Copeland Bird Observatory near Belfast about 35 years ago and promptly becoming hooked. My wife Kay and I signed up as trainee ringers and enjoyed working on the Island so much that we soon progressed to full ringing permits and qualified to take charge at the Observatory. Over the years I've been involved in many projects on a wide range of species including Constant Effort Ringing at a large reed bed site, roost catching hirundines, wintering thrushes and finches, colony work with terns, gulls and shearwaters, nest box studies and, of course, banding migrants at the Observatory. I also qualified as a member of the British Trust for Ornithology's Ringing Trainers Panel.

Thu, 27/09/2018 - 19:20

The September 2018 edition of Birds New Zealand magazine has been published, containing news of the election of Bruce McKinlay as the Society’s new President and Natalie Forsdick as a new Council member, and the presentation of annual awards at the Society’s 79th Annual General Meeting held in June in Waitangi.

It also features an update on progress towards establishing the new National Bird Monitoring Scheme, profiles of the Society’s ten Council members, results of a shorebird survey conducted in North Korea, and a Young Birders’ Northland ‘Big Day’.

It also reports news of a 25% decline in the threatened King Shag population since 2015, latest results from a Wairau River Black-billed Gull banding project, a call for applications to the Pacific Islands Conservation and Research Fund, and a record of a rare melanistic Sacred Kingfisher in Whakatane.

This issue also marks the upcoming 70th anniversary of the rediscovery of the South Island Takahe or Notornis, reports on new research on the energetics of Rifleman and clinal variation in avian body size, and possible sightings of South Island Kokako.

It also contains the first quarterly report by the Society's new President, Bruce McKinlay, quarterly reports from the Society’s Regional Representatives, the Minutes of the 79th Annual General Meeting, and Bird News reports of rare and unusual birds from around the country during the previous six months.

Link to the online edition of the magazine:

Wed, 12/09/2018 - 09:06

Read the latest Banding Newsletter here 

Learn more about the New Zeand Banding Scheme here


Mon, 13/08/2018 - 17:12

14 projects have been selected for funding in this year's BNZRF round.

A list of these projects is available here!


Fri, 22/06/2018 - 19:45

The June 2018 edition of Birds New Zealand magazine has been published, containing news of Birds New Zealand’s new National Bird Monitoring Scheme, the result of The Great Hihi Sperm Race, and North Korea’s decision to join the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.

Other reports include the results of research funded by the Birds New Zealand Research Fund 2016 on the conservation genetics of Chatham Island Taiko, the results of the Birds New Zealand 2017 national wader censuses, and the Birds New Zealand Youth Camp held in Southland in April 2018.

It also reports on the results of at-sea tracking of Hoiho or Yellow-eyed Penguins, the release of 18 South Island Takahe into the wild at Kahurangi National Park, a study describing a new extinct pigeon species, the Zealandian Dove, from fossils found in 16-19 million-year-old deposits at St Bathans in Otago, a report of a pair of black morph Variable Oystercatchers producing a pied morph chick, and a report of a North Island Robin eating forest fungus.

This edition features illustrated articles on the seabirds of remote southern Fiordland by Colin Miskelly and birdwatching in Papua New Guinea by Michael Szabo.

It also contains the last quarterly report by the Society's outgoing President, David Lawrie, whose term in office ended in early June, and regular quarterly reports from around the regions.

Link to the online edition of the magazine:

Michael Szabo, Editor, Birds New Zealand
Tel. (04) 383 5784

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 15:45

I have recently arrived in New Zealand with my family from South Africa and have been involved in ornithology for at least the past 25 years. Employment is currently casual at Scion in Rotorua, and in the settling down process I hope to obtain something more permanent. For the past 9 years I worked as an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg lecturing and doing research mostly on birds. I have published widely on a number of ornithological topics, with some focus on parrots, bird community ecology, bird movements, bird-plant interactions, and urban bird ecology. Stable isotope analyses and bird banding have been valuable tools in my research. I have travelled widely across Africa pursuing birds. Some of my greatest adventures further afield have included a seven month research project in the Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands investigating “homegarden” effects on bird communities, sampling birds in Cambodia for Avian Influenza, and studying Glossy Black Cockatoos in south-eastern Queensland.
Craig Symes:


Sat, 09/06/2018 - 11:22

The 2018 New Zealand Bird Conference in Waitangi was a remarkable and memorable event!
Abstracts from the scientific talks are available for download here.

The minutes of the AGM are available here.

Next year's NZ Birds Conference will be held in Wellington from 1st to 3rd of June 2019.
Mark it in your diary and help us celebrate the Society's 80th Anniversary!