New Zealand Birds

The Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park is home to many native New Zealand birds, Kiwi, ducks, parrots and more... Learn more about these creatures and listen to their unique sounds!

download the complete set of Kiwi House Species Fact Sheets» North Island Brown Kiwi
» Great Spotted Kiwi
» Little Spotted Kiwi
» Brown Teal
» Campbell Island Teal
» Blue Duck (Whio)
» NZ Falcon (Sparrow Hawk)
» North Island Weka
» Black Stilt
» North Island Kaka
» Kea
» Tui (Parson Bird)
» NZ Kingfisher
» Variable Oystercatcher
» NZ Pigeon
» Red-Crowned Kakariki
» Grey Teal

See also:
» Photo Gallery
» New Zealand Reptiles

Common name: North Island Brown Kiwi North Island Brown Kiwi
Latin name: Apteryx australis mantelli
Maori name: Tokoeka
Sound: North Island Brown Kiwi (Listen)
Description: Females are larger than males with birds weighing between 1.5–3 kgs. The average size is around 50 cm. Plumage is rather harsh to the touch. Colouration can vary from grey/brown to almost black/brown or reddish brown. Displays of white plumage are not uncommon in some local populations.
Habitat/Distribution: Found in forested areas of the North Island, Little Barrier Island, Kapiti Island and recently reintroduced into several forests south of Palmerston North.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Introduced predators
– New avian diseases and parasites.
Conservation status: In serious decline
Fact sheet: » North Island Brown Kiwi fact sheet

Common name: Great Spotted Kiwi Great Spotted Kiwi
Latin name: Apteryx haasti
Maori name: Roa
Sound: Great Spotted Kiwi (Listen)
Description: A large grey kiwi distinguished from the Little Spotted Kiwi by the chestnut tinge on the upper back and mottled bands of brown/black plumage. Iris black, bill ivory white – pinkish, feet grey-brown.
Habitat/Distribution: Found only in the north western part of the South Island, as far south as Brunner and the Paparoa Ranges of the West Coast and east to Arthurs Pass.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Introduced predators
– New avian diseases and parasites.
Conservation status: In gradual decline
Fact sheet: » Great Spotted Brown Kiwi fact sheet

Common name: Little Spotted Kiwi Little Spotted Kiwi
Latin name: Apteryx oweni
Maori name: Kiwi pukupuku
Sound: Little Spotted Kiwi (Listen)
Description: The smallest of the kiwi family with overall grey colouring and a mottled irregular pattern of black/brown plumage across the body.
It weighs between 1.2–2 kgs with a body size around 40 cm. Iris black, feet pale with white claws.
Habitat/Distribution: Once widespread throughout New Zealand, it is now found only on Kapiti Island and a few other islands, where it has been introduced.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Introduced predators
– New avian diseases and parasites.
Conservation status: The range is restricted
Fact sheet: » Little Spotted Kiwi fact sheet

Common name: Brown Teal Brown Teal
Latin name: Anas aucklandica chlorotis
Maori name: Pateke
Sound: Brown Teal (Listen)
Description: A small brown duck related to the Chestnut Teal of Australia; around 48 cm in size. Males have dark brown heads with a greenish bloom on nape, a white collar on the front part of neck and a green speculum. The female is uniformly brown with a bluish/black bill and slate grey feet.
Habitat/Distribution: Restricted mainly to Great Barrier Island and Northland. Captive bred ducks have been released into protected reserves throughout the North Island and into Fiordland National Park.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Introduced predators
– Shooting
– Increased coastal subdivision.
Conservation status: DoC Status: Category B
IUCN Status: Endangered
Fact sheet: » Brown Teal fact sheet

Common name: Campbell Island Flightless Teal Campbell Island Flightless Teal
Latin name: Anas aucklandica nesiotis
Maori name:
Description: Resembles Auckland Island Teal in both sexes, but slightly smaller and browner. Males do not have a white collar or dark line on the back. The size is around 41 cm.
Habitat/Distribution: Restricted to the sub-Antarctic Campbell Islands, with a few ducks still residing on Codfish Island from a captive release.
Principal threats: – Antarctic Skua prey on both adults and ducklings
– The return of rats and cats to Campbell Island.
Conservation status: Critically endangered
Fact sheet: » Campbell Island Teal fact sheet

Common name: Blue Duck Blue Duck
Latin name: Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos
Maori name: Whio
Sound: Blue Duck (Listen)
Description: A large duck about 53 cm in size. Dove grey colouring with a bluish sheen, heavily spotted red/brown on the breast, pinkish/white bill with a black tip, dark brown feet. Female has reduced red/brown spotting on the breast and spots are completely absent in juveniles.
Habitat/Distribution: Whio are river dwelling and sometimes referred to as a torrent duck. They frequent the headwater catchments of rivers in both the North and South Islands.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Disturbance including white water recreational activities
– Hunting dogs and shooting
– Predation of nests
– Introduced trout.
Conservation status: DoC Status: Nationally endangered
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Fact sheet: » Blue Duck fact sheet

Common name: New Zealand Falcon (or Sparrow Hawk) New Zealand Falcon
Latin name: Falco novaeseelandiae
Maori name: Karearea
Sound: NZ Falcon (Listen)
Description: An endemic species, the males are around 43 cm weighing 300 grams, females 47 cm and weighing some 500 grams. The colouring is generally black above, buff barred and streaked below. Thighs and under tail-coverts are a rufous brown with darker streaks. Legs, feet and cere are yellow, claws black.
Habitat/Distribution: Widespread in the high country of the South Island and lower North Island.
Principal threats: – Introduced mammalian predators
– Habitat loss and shooting
– Chemical sprays used in agriculture.
Conservation status: Endemic, endangered
Fact sheet: » NZ Falcon fact sheet

Common name: North Island Weka North Island Weka
Latin name: Gallirallus australis greyi
Maori name:
Sound: North Island Weka (Listen)
Description: A large flightless rail with a strong mandible and feet and reduced wings. The plumage is mainly brown and black, but the tone of the brown and the amount of black vary with more grey on the breast. Legs are brown. Males are 1–1.2 kgs, females between 700–900 grams in weight.
Habitat/Distribution: Various habitats on offshore islands, Bay of Islands and inland Bay of Plenty.
Principal threats: – Introduced predators
– Introduced bird species
– Habitat loss, modification and degradation
– Introduced avian diseases and parasites
– Vehicles causing road kills
– Poorly managed pest control operations, traps, rat baits and toxins.
Conservation status: Threatened, more endangered than the North Island Kiwi
Fact sheet: » North Island Weka fact sheet

Common name: Black Stilt Black Stilt
Latin name: Himantopus novaezealandiae
Maori name: Kaki
Description: Both sexes are similar. Upper parts are black with a green gloss on the wings. Under parts are a brownish, brown/black. The iris is crimson, the mandible black and the feet bright pink.
Habitat/Distribution: Wetland areas of inland Otago and South Canterbury while a few birds winter in the northern harbours.
Principal threats: – Predators
– Habitat loss
– Human disturbance.
Conservation status: Critically endangered
Fact sheet: » Black Stilt fact sheet

Common name: North Island Kaka North Island Kaka
Latin name: Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis
Maori name: Kaka
Sound: North Island Kaka (Listen)
Description: The sexes are alike, size 45 cm with males 475 grams, females 425 grams. Overall body colouration is brown-green with underling coverts a brilliant orange-scarlet. Crown pale white, iris dark brown, mandible black with yellow cere, feet slate black.
Habitat/Distribution: Widespread in mature forest throughout New Zealand.
Principal threats: – Habitat loss
– Possums, deer and pigs have reduced their food source
– Introduced wasps
– Stoats, rats and possums.
Conservation status: Threatened endemic species
Fact sheet: » North Island Kaka fact sheet (PDF)

Common name: Kea Kea
Latin name: Nestor notabilis
Maori name: Kea
Sound: Kea (Listen)
Description: The sexes are similar, although the male is larger with a more outward curving upper mandible. The overall colour is an olive green with scarlet under wing coverts. The iris is dark brown, the mandible and legs dark brown to black. Size 46 cm. Juveniles crown immediately after fledging. The nape is olive/yellow, the cere and mandible bright orange-yellow. Legs are light grey.
Habitat/Distribution: Kea inhabit the South Island high country and alps.
Principal threats: – Degradation of habitat by fire
– Over-grazing by domestic stock and browsing by feral animals
– Predation at nests by introduced mammals such as stoats
– Illegal shooting and poisoning
– Illegal capture and trading in Kea.
Conservation status: Category B threatened species
Fact sheet: » Kea fact sheet

Common name: Tui (Parson Bird) Tui
Latin name: Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae
Maori name: Tui
Sound: Tui (Listen)
Description: The sexes are alike with the female slightly smaller. Tui appear black at a distance, but are mainly iridescent green with dark bluish/purple reflections. Around 30 cm in size. The back and side of the neck are ornamented with white-shafted filamentous feathers, which curl forwards on the side of neck. Tui have a white, double, throat tuft of curled feathers. The iris is dark brown, the bill and legs black.
Habitat/Distribution: Widespread in forests, open country and urban areas throughout New Zealand.
Principal threats: – Introduced predators (possums)
– Feral cats
– Rats
– Mustelids
– Habitat destruction.
Conservation status: Common
Fact sheet: » Tui fact sheet

Common name: New Zealand Kingfisher New Zealand Kingfisher
Latin name: Halcyon sancta
Maori name: Kotare
Sound: NZ Kingfisher (Listen)
Description: The crown and forehead is a deep green with a broad black band running from the gape through and below the eye to encircle the nape. There is a broad buff collar across the hind neck; the upper back and scapulars are deep green, the lower back, upper tail coverts and wings ultramarine, the throat and breast buff/white. The mandible is black with the base of the mandible pale yellowish. Iris black and feet dark brown.
Habitat/Distribution: Found throughout New Zealand from coastal regions to forested areas. Absent from high, snow-covered mountain areas.
Principal threats: Introduced mammalian predators.
Conservation status: Not threatened
Fact sheet: » NZ Kingfisher fact sheet

Common name: Variable Oystercatcher Variable Oystercatcher
Latin name: Haematopus unicolor
Maori name: Torea-pango
Description: Variable colouration; unicolor individuals are entirely black with a red mandible and scarlet iris, legs a coral pink. Pied individuals are black with white belly, flanks, rump and tail coverts. Intermediate individuals have variable amounts of white on wing bars, rump and belly. All birds have an orange eye-ring, bright orange mandible (often with a yellow tip) and coral pink legs.
Habitat/Distribution: Scattered right around the New Zealand coastline
Principal threats: – Loss of habitat through waterfront development
– Introduced predators preying on eggs & young birds
– Human disturbance
Conservation status: Rare
Fact sheet: » Variable Oystercatcher fact sheet

Common name: New Zealand Pigeon New Zealand Pigeon
Latin name: Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
Maori name: Kereru, Kuku, Kukupa
Sound: NZ Pigeon (Listen)
Description: A large pigeon 51 cm in size. The sexes are alike. The head, throat and upper breast are metallic green. The nape, back and wings are purple with a coppery green sheen. Breast and belly and feathered legs are white. The iris is dark red, the mandible crimson with a yellow tip. The feet are red with black claws.
The Chatham Island Pigeon is larger than the mainland species, has greyer upper parts and breast and a heavier mandible.
Habitat/Distribution: Found throughout mainland New Zealand in forested areas and residual forest remnants including some offshore islands.
The Chatham Island Pigeon survives on Pitt Island and the main islands, where it inhabits lowland coastal forests.
Principal threats: – Habitat destruction
– Illegal hunting
– ntroduced predators destroying nests & eating eggs and squabs.
Conservation status: Gradual decline
Fact sheet: » NZ Pigeon fact sheet

Common name: Red-Crowned Kakariki Red-Crowned Kakariki
Latin name: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae
Maori name: Kakariki – green parakeet
Sound: Red-Crowned Kakariki (Listen)
Description: A small parakeet with a band of red across the forehead from the mandible to the top of the crown and just behind the eye; violet blue on the inner primary feathers. The iris is red, the mandible pale blue/grey with a black tip. The legs and feet are greyish brown.
Habitat/Distribution: Once widely distributed throughout both islands, but now scarce on the two main islands. Inhabits forests, scrubland and open areas.
Principal threats: – Loss of habitat and introduced predators
– Avian diseases from introduced parrots.
Conservation status: Threatened (regionally)
Fact sheet: » Red-Crowned Kakariki fact sheet

Common name: Grey Teal Grey Teal
Latin name: Anas gibberifrons gracilis
Maori name: Tete
Description: New Zealand's smallest flying duck, overall grey with the head and back of the neck a dark brown. Throat, chin and side of head are almost white. Back and flank feathers are dark brown with pale edges. The speculum is green with a narrow white band. The mandible is blue/grey, the feet black and iris a bright red.
Habitat/Distribution: Tete prefer shallow freshwater lakes, lagoons and swamps with extensive marginal cover. They are found throughout South Auckland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay and Otago. The species is also found throughout Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia. The New Zealand population is subject to periodic influxes from Australia, as birds are driven out by drought.
Principal threats: – Introduced predators
– Illegal hunting
– Loss of habitat.
Conservation status: Uncommon, but the range is increasing
Fact sheet: » Grey Teal fact sheet


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