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5 amazing places to see New Zealand's native birds

Published: 24 August 2017

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Birdwatchers, get your binoculars ready.

Whether you're a professional ornithologist, a bird lover or someone who simply enjoys the beauty of nature, we have got great news for you.

Our regional parks are a birder's (birdwatcher's) paradise and getting out and about in them is a must-do activity. From the gannet colony at Muriwai to the kiwi at Shakespear Regional Park, there are plenty of our feathered friends to entertain.

5 amazing places to spot native birds in Auckland 

  1. Ambury: keen birdwatchers have identified more than 86 species of bird at this working farm park.
  1. Muriwai: the gannet colony at the south end of Muriwai is well worth a visit between October and February.
  1. Shakespear: bird-watching is plentiful at Shakespear, and the open sanctuary allows many natives such as kererū, tūī, dotterel, oystercatchers and white-faced herons to thrive. Pāteke and banded rail can be seen down near the wetlands. You may even be lucky enough to spot the occasional kākāriki, bellbird or little spotted kiwi. Other exotic birds such as goldfinches and rosella have also been seen at Shakespear.
  1. Tāwharanui: another open sanctuary which gives you the chance to see many rare native species. Saddleback, North Island robin, bellbird, fantail, pāteke, Northern New Zealand dotterel, takahē and the occasional kākā are just some of the birds that may be seen during the day. Kiwi and morepork also call Tāwharanui home and are occasionally seen during the later hours.
  1. Whakanewha is home to the endangered New Zealand dotterel. Other bird species include kererū, tūī, fantail, silvereye, grey warbler, shining cuckoo, harriers and morepork. The wetland supports banded rail, spotless crake, Australasian bittern and pāteke (brown teal). Along the coastal margin you may find white-faced heron, paradise shelduck, grey duck, South Island pied oystercatchers, pied stilt, spur-winged plover, eastern bar-tailed godwit and Caspian tern. You may also spot blue reef heron, kingfishers, black, pied and little shags, white-fronted terns and for the lucky observer the forest dwelling kākā.

Find out more about birdwatching in Auckland's regional parks

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