Tag Archives: native birds

Sneaky Egg Swap Boosts Kokako Population

Sneaky Egg Swap Boosts Kokako Population

The Department of Conservation (DOC) are working hard to save the endangered North Island kokako, using sleight of hand to trick nesting mothers into incubating the eggs of kokako from other areas to help…

NZ Bird Recognise People, Show Different Personalities

NZ Bird Recognise People, Show Different Personalities

A study has revealed that a native New Zealand bird is able to recognise different humans. Researchers at Victoria University found that the North Island Robin, or toutouwai, reacts differently to humans by timing…

Bird-watching Masterpieces

Bird-watching Masterpieces

Buller’s Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of JG Keulemans is recommended as a “must have for those with an interest in the birds of New Zealand or in bird…

Cat-free Isles?

Cat-free Isles?

Prominent New Zealand economist and environmentalist Gareth Morgan wants his country 100 per cent cat-free and he’s willing to go extraordinary lengths to make it a reality. Cats are a “friendly neighborhood serial killer”…

Year for the Kereru

Year for the Kereru

A project to help the kereru and native forests thrive once more throughout the Wellington region has received new funding from the Nikau Foundation with support from the Willscott Endowment Fund, and WWF-New Zealand…

Ecosystem Fragility

Ecosystem Fragility

University of Canterbury researchers say they have linked the modern-day decline of a common forest shrub with the local extinction of two pollinating birds — the bellbird and stitchbird — over a century ago….

Scented feathers

Scented feathers

Canterbury University associate professor Jim Briskie is hoping to develop a deodorant for New Zealand’s native birds to stop them falling prey to introduced predators. Briskie says it appears New Zealand birds suffer from…

Delightfully Strange Birds

Delightfully Strange Birds

Take a look at some of New Zealand’s delightfuly strange birds in this segment from the BBC.

Blast From the Past

Blast From the Past

Ornithologists the world over have been fascinated by recent confirmed sightings of the NZ Storm Petrel, which was thought to have been extinct for more than a century. In November 2005 a NZ fisherman took the…

Karate vs. Kea

Karate vs. Kea

Organisers of a vintage car rally near Mt Cook took an unusual defensive stance against marauding local kea, which are notorious for damaging cars in alpine areas. The car club hired 40 karate practitioners to protect…

The Real Big Bird

The Real Big Bird

Joint research by Oxford (UK) and Canterbury (NZ) Universities has uncovered startling new facts about NZ’s native Haast’s eagle. With a weight of 10kg, the Haast’s eagle was 30-40% heavier than the largest living bird of…

Moa, Moa and More Moa

Moa, Moa and More Moa

New scientific evidence reveals that humans may not be entirely responsible for the extinction of the moa. According to research undertaken in NZ and the US, there were 3 to 12 million moa roaming the forests…

Edge Eco-system

Edge Eco-system

The unique bird-life native to NZ and its surrounding islands is the subject of major articles in The Japan Times and The New York Times. The first, by a Japan-based natural historian, expresses wonder “that a handful…

Kea Car-ha?

Kea Car-ha?

Judy Diamond and Alan B. Bond’s spent hours at an Arthur’s Pass rubbish dump working out the evolutionary significance of the kea: “Keas are giant mountain parrots, and they love cars, especially soft-tops. If you leave…

No Dodo

No Dodo

New Scientist features the Kakapo’s claw-back from the brink of extinction: “What’s green, nocturnal, looks like an owl, smells sweet and fruity, and makes strange noises from growls and “skrarks” to metallic “chings” and deep resonant…

Old Bones

Old Bones

Cache of moa bones and other fossils found under Canterbury vineyard.

Who’s a Clever Kea Then?

Who’s a Clever Kea Then?

The kea outscores gibbons in intelligence tests. “There was definitely learning going on,” says Rachel Johnston who administered the avian IQ tests.

World Music

World Music

The BBC’s Radio4 celebrates International Dawn Chorus Day by listening to the world wake up via some aural ornithology; singing the sun up is the enchanting “Nightingale of New Zealand” – the Tui.

Clever Kea

Clever Kea

The inhospitable alpine environment has caused the kea to develop “a very human-like curiosity and flexibility”.

Kiwi Burger?

Kiwi Burger?

“If you were in a position where every family could eat kiwi for lunch, then you would have solved the problem, wouldn’t you,” says John Wamsley, head of the private Environmental Sanctuaries group. But, “our aim…

Bad Bird

Bad Bird

“Even in New Zealand there are sheep farmers that lose stock to wildlife, namely the Kea, a large native and protected parrot. It may seem incredible, but it’s true.”

Big, Bad Bird

Big, Bad Bird

“A San Francisco Zoo employee was injured yesterday when a 5-foot tall bird native to New Zealand tore into his leg with its powerful claws … The animals are found in the rain forests of New…

Foreign Bird

Foreign Bird

When’s a kiwi not a kiwi? When it’s really an escaped Australian …

Royal Bird

Royal Bird

“No one who has seen an albatross on the wing is ever likely to forget the experience,” says Prince Charles. New Zealand’s Chatham Island albatross is down to 4000 pairs.

Avian Aphrodisiac

Avian Aphrodisiac

There are only 62 Kakapo in the world, and they don’t always seem that interested in making more. DOC scientists, hoping to see some action from the feather fellows, have concocted a special kind of muesli…

Moa Manipulation

Moa Manipulation

Digital manipulation is an example of Stephen Jay Gould’s ‘Great Asymmetry’: creation takes much longer than destruction or consumption. “It takes millions or billions of years for evolution to produce a species well-adapted to its environment, while…

Moa Simulation: The Strange World of Canterbury Ecology

Moa Simulation: The Strange World of Canterbury Ecology

New Zealand has more small-leaved, tangled shrubs than anywhere else in the world. Some experts think the plants evolved like this to deter the now-extinct moa from making them dinner, but Canterbury University ecologist Dave Kelly doesn’t…

Edge Record: “And a Good South Wind Sprung Up Behind; the Albatross Did Follow”

Edge Record: “And a Good South Wind Sprung Up Behind; the Albatross Did Follow”

For a very long time without a wallow … “The longevity record is of a giant royal albatross banded in New Zealand and recovered as a breeding adult 58 years later.”

The Mighty Moa

The Mighty Moa

Preview of Discovery Programme: “Discovery takes a look at an extraordinary (and extinct) New Zealand bird, the moa. The story of the moa is one of mystery and imagination. It reads like a good detective story”.

New Zealand Scientists Find out More About Moa

New Zealand Scientists Find out More About Moa

In an article in Science new evidence suggests that a huge flightless birds called the moa was extinct within a few decades after humans’ first arrived at the bird’s New Zealand homeland, suggesting that whole species can…