Endemic New Zealand Birds

I was recently in New Zealand teaching a month long Sea Kayaking course.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Paddling in Pelorus Sound. © Fredrik Norrsell

We had an amazing opportunity to stop at Motuara Island, were we got to see several endemic and endangered birds.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A charismatic South Island Robin. © Fredrik Norrsell

New Zealand Robins are tame and charismatic birds, often chasing insects in the duff by your feet.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Bellbird coming down to drink. © Fredrik Norrsell

Bellbirds are known for their beautiful song, and on the predator free Motuara Island the bird song was almost deafening. It really highlighted how human impact and introduced predators have decimated birdlife on the mainland of New Zealand.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Yellow-crownd Parakeet. © Fredrik Norrsell

It was delightful to see the Kakariki (Yellow-crowned parakeet) again. A few years ago I caught a glimpse of it on Stewart Island. To watch numerous of them coming to drink and bathe was an amazing experience.

 Fredrik Norrsell
South Island Saddleback taking a bath. © Fredrik Norrsell

We even got to see the critically endangered South Island Saddleback. Pretty sure I even saw a few juveniles. Thanks to hard work by DOC and volunteers it is slowly making a comeback. The population is estimated at 700 individuals up from the original 36 birds that was rescued in 1964.