Sunday, September 22, 2019


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, 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:


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!

Thu, 07/06/2018 - 09:19

Bruce McKinlay has been involved in the Society in a greater or lesser role for a number of decades.  His first contribution to a Society Scheme was to contribute cards to a brown creeper survey led by Stuart Lauder in the 1980’s.  Since then he has contributed to both Atlas’s schemes. He also convened and led a Otago region distributional study of the birds in Dunedin City.  This was published by the Region in 1995. He has been a regular contributor to regional wader counts in Otago. Bruce also led the third and fourth Otago Harbour Surveys between 2009-2012.  He also curated the data for all the previous surveys and compiled this into a single data source. Since eBird was launched in New Zealand he has scoured old note books and added what he can find there to the database and has contributed to add checklists wherever he can. So far this has included 18 countries with aspirations for more.

Bruce has published sporadically in Notornis with his most recent contribution being a short note on the passerine birds of the grey shrublands of the Wakatipu.

Bruce has been on Council since 2008.  He has been the Vice President of the Society since 2009. In this time he has led the development of a modernised website and updating of the tools to support conference organisers and Regional Representatives. He’s also led the conceptual development so far of a new national monitoring scheme for birds.  At home Bruce is supported by Dinah and daughters Tess and Erana. For his day job Bruce is a Technical Advisor for the Department of Conservation based in Dunedin.

Thu, 07/06/2018 - 09:15

Ian has enjoyed an interest in birds from childhood and being a Wellingtonian three of the locations he best remembers watching and learning about birds in the 1950s were when tramping in the Tararua and Remutaka Ranges and at the Pencarrow lakes near the entrance of Wellington Harbour.  A keen interest in birds and forests led Ian into a career in forestry with the former NZ Forest Service, mostly in the North Island.  During the 1980s Ian was appointed to advisory positions for forestry development and conservation in Samoa and elsewhere in the South Pacific, also in South East Asia.  Since 1991 he has been an independent consultant in forestry development in Asia, especially in China.  Ian joined the OSNZ in 2001 and was Regional Representative in Wellington for six years.  He became a life member of the society in 2004.  He contributed to the organisation of the 2006 and 2011 society conferences that were hosted by Wellington Region and he led the organisation of the Wellington Harbour Bird Survey in 2008 to 2010.  Ian joined Council in 2012.  He has been an enthusiastic contributor to and supporter of the eBird system since it was introduced.  Ian has taken the lead with the design and construction of a new digital database for all Beach Patrol records that aims to systematically document the identity, location and numbers of all birds found dead on New Zealand beaches.  In another dimension involving birds Ian is a member of the National Oiled Wildlife Response Group for Maritime New Zealand and was actively involved in wildlife management and recovery operations in the ‘Rena’ accident near Tauranga in late 2011 and early 2012.

Tue, 05/06/2018 - 11:00

My name is Natalie Forsdick; I’m a PhD student at the University of Otago, working on a project using genomic tools for conservation of threatened species, specifically the kakī (black stilt). I’ve always had a passion for nature and conservation, and my enthusiasm for birding has developed with my research interests. My Masters project at the University of Canterbury investigated the population genetics of the Chatham Island black robin and tomtit, but I never had the opportunity to visit the Chathams until I was awarded a scholarship to travel with Heritage Expeditions on a Sub-Antarctic birding expedition. This experience of exploring our offshore islands cemented my inner ‘bird-nerd’, and I realized that joining Birds NZ would allow me to further my own study of New Zealand birds alongside knowledgeable, supportive, enthusiastic members.

Science communication and public outreach are important facets of my research. As an active member of Birds NZ, I attend the Otago regional monthly meetings, and have been involved in public outreach activities for the society. I have presented my research at the associated national and international conferences. At the Te Anau conference in 2017 I was awarded the student presentation award for my talk about my Masters research. In addition to the student prize, I was presented the society’s unofficial takahē mascot, and have worked to present ‘Orbell’ as a profile-raising tool, helping to expand Birds NZ’s social media presence, and attract new members to our society. I am excited to join the society council, and aim to continue to grow our society in the same open, inclusive, and friendly fashion that I have experienced as a member.

Mon, 04/06/2018 - 10:39

Voting for the vacant Council position closed on 17 May, with a response from 42% of eligible members.

We congratulate Natalie Forsdick for receiving the majority of votes and welcome her to Council.

Thank you everyone who took part in this vote!