Thursday, January 17, 2019


Thu, 20/12/2018 - 20:00

The December 2018 edition of Birds New Zealand magazine has been published, containing news of research projects to be funded by the Birds New Zealand Research Fund 2018, next year’s New Zealand Bird Conference and 90th AGM in Wellington, the New Zealand Bird Atlas scheme, and a new logo and website for Birds New Zealand.

Research to be funded by the Birds New Zealand Research Fund 2018 includes projects that will focus on Hoiho (Yellow-eyed Penguin), Tawaki (Fiordland Crested Penguin), Penguin colony mapping, Tui, Kakapo, Kea, Kaka, Northern Brown Kiwi, Tokoeka, South Island Takahe, New Zealand Storm Petrel genetics and Northland seabird surveys.

This edition also reports the results of two projects funded in 2017 which surveyed Buller’s Shearwaters at the Poor Knights Islands and Roroa (Great Spotted Kiwi) in north-west Nelson, and a new study describing an extinct shearwater species from fossils found in 2.5–5.3 million-year-old deposits in coastal Taranaki.

It also features illustrated articles about birdwatching in the Solomon Islands by Immediate Past President David Lawrie and about a Northland ‘Bioblitz’ survey by Nic Rawlence of the University of Otago.

It also contains the quarterly report from the Society's President Bruce McKinlay, our regular quarterly reports from around the regions, and more book reviews.

Link to the online edition of the magazine:

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 11:26

The latest Banding Newsletter is available now!

In the 8th edition, banding banter includes:

·      There must be an app for that

·      “bobos blancos” as liaison officers

·      Testing their mettle: Rates of wear in metal bands

·      That’s a wrap: The art (or science) of band making

Learn more about the New Zealand Banding Scheme here


Fri, 23/11/2018 - 15:00

The newly released books 

are now available to Birds NZ members for a special 10% discount and free delivery in New Zealand!

Order online at and enter the coupon code BIRD18 at the shopping cart to receive your 10% discount!

Offer ends 30 April 2019

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:

The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to 14 December! A poster with key dates is available here

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.

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!

Fri, 08/06/2018 - 13:16

The following awards were presented at the 2018 NZ Bird Conference in Waitangi:

  • Robert Falla Memorial Award:  David Melville 
  • A.T. Edgar Junior Award:  Eleanor Gunby
  • Edgar Junior Award:  George Hobson
  • Notornis Student Award:  Lauren Little
  • Notornis New Author Award:   Ann-Kathrin Schlesselmann
  • Conference Student Talk Award:  Rebecca French
  • Conference Student Poster Award:   Lyndsay Rankin
  • Conference People’s Poster Choice Award:   Megan Friesen

The region with the highest increase in members in 2017 was Otago - thanks to the hard work of Mary Thompson and her team!