Bird Watching

Whilst many people who visit Aroha Island are focused on seeing the North Island Brown Kiwi, there is plenty more of interest to birdwatchers. The regeneration of native bush and the coastal inlet provide the perfect habitat for some of New Zealand’s endemic species of bird as well as native and introduced species.

At Aroha Island you can see New Zealand endemic birds (birds that have evolved and occur and breed naturally only in New Zealand):

    • fernbird/matata (Bowdleria punctata)
    • grey warbler/riroriro (Gerygone igata)
    • morepork/ruru (ninox novaeseelandiae)
    • New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus)
    • New Zealand fantail/piwakawaka (Rhipidura fuliginosa)
    • New Zealand pigeon/kererū/kukapa (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae)
    • North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx australis)
    • paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata)
    • pied oystercatcher (Haematopus finschi)
    • shining cuckoo/pipiwharauroa (Chalcites lucidus)
    • tūī (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)
    • variable oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor)
    • white-fronted tern (Sterna striata)

Sadly many of the endemic species have found it hard to adapt to the environment as it changed.  Much of the work of the Aroha Island Charitable Trust is to provide a protected environment to support the wildlife that lives here.  Mammals such as stoats, possums, rats and hedgehogs are controlled.  We have a “no dogs” policy.

You can also see a variety of native birds that have arrived in New Zealand by themselves and established themselves here including:

    • Australian gannet/takapu (Sula serrator)
    • black shag (Phalacrocorax carbo)
    • kingfisher (Halcyon sancta)
    • little shag/kawaupaka (Phalacrocorax varius)
    • pied shag/karuhiruhi (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos)
    • silvereye (Zosterops)
    • white faced heron (Ardea novaehollandiae)

Finally we have many introduced species (birds that humans have brought to New Zealand):

    • Barbary dove (Streptopelia risoria) (Turdus merula)
    • California quail (Lophortix calcifornicus)
    • chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
    • Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius)
    • golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)
    • goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
    • house sparrow (Passer domesticus)
    • mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
    • myna (Acridotheres tristis)
    • pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
    • song thrush (Turdus philomelus)

Useful links

Visit the New Zealand Birds website for specific information on each of the birds that can be found in New Zealand. This site also gives information about extinct birds.

The New Zealand Birds Online website allows you to search by bird name and gives details of species information, habitat, breeding and ecology as well as sound clips of their calls.