how many birds in new zealand

T?? are a common garden bird in areas where pest control is being carried out. Credit: Craig McKenzie

New Zealand is home to over 200 native bird species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

When youre identifying a bird, its important to take notes about how the bird looked, sounded, or behaved.

Our birds are unique. They evolved in isolation for millions of years without any land-based mammalian predators.

When people arrived in New Zealand, they introduced predators like stoats, rats, cats, and possums, which prey on our native birds by eating adult birds, chicks, and eggs.

This means many of our native bird species are in trouble and today, 68 percent of our birds are threatened with extinction.

At Forest & Bird, we receive a lot of enquiries from people who need help identifying a bird they have seen or heard. We have compiled a list of online resources that will help you to identify some of New Zealands unique birdlife.

Comparison to global bird fauna edit

New Zealand makes a substantial contribution to the diversity of birds and other species worldwide. The Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand estimates that there are 80,000 species of native plants and animals in the nation. All of the frogs and reptiles, 90% of the insects, 80% of the vascular plants, and 25% of the bird species found in New Zealand are exclusive to the island nation. [8] After European colonization, the composition of birds changed. Overexploitation of endemic species for sport, introduction of nonnative species for insect control and recreation, and colonizing predators all contributed to the decline of the helpless New Zealand bird population. In New Zealand, seabirds, wetland birds, and terrestrial birds together account for one-third of all species. The whole range of New Zealand’s bird consistency falls into these three categories. On the other hand, 90% of bird species worldwide are classified as terrestrial birds.

History after human settlement edit Artist’s rendition of a

As a result, numerous bird species went extinct, and others are still in grave danger of extinction. After human settlement, nearly half of New Zealand’s native birds went extinct, making this one of the greatest extinction waves in recorded history. [5] Nowadays, a number of species are restricted to fenced “ecological islands” or offshore islands where predators have been eradicated. New Zealand is a global leader in the methods needed to save critically endangered species from extinction and in providing habitats so that these species can repopulate. These areas span the entire nation and comprise 44 marine reserves, 13 national parks, and numerous other protected areas. Over 100,000 protected areas total, making up 1/3 of the nation. [6] Because of these protected areas, flying birds in particular are less vulnerable to land-use changes, introduced species, and hunting. [5][7].

Main menu (Mega menu)

  • Home
  • Resources
  • How to Identify New Zealand Birds

T?? are a common garden bird in areas where pest control is being carried out. Credit: Craig McKenzie

More than 200 native bird species can be found in New Zealand, many of which are unique to the world.

It’s crucial to record the appearance, sound, and behavior of the bird when you’re identifying it.

  • How big was it?
  • What colour was it?
  • Did it have any markings?
  • What colour or shape was its beak?
  • What colour eyes did it have?
  • What was it doing?
  • What did it sound like?

Our birds are unique. For millions of years, they lived in isolation and had no land-based mammalian predators.

Predators such as stoats, rats, cats, and possums were brought to New Zealand by humans and now feed on adult birds, chicks, and eggs of native birds.

This indicates that a large number of our native bird species are facing extinction, with 68% of our bird population currently in danger.

In the Forest We’ve put together a list of web tools to assist you in recognizing some of New Zealand’s distinctive bird species.

A p?wakwaka (fantail). Credit: Craig McKenzie


Are there a lot of birds in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a significant contributor to global bird, and overall, species diversity. According to New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment, the country has an estimated 80,000 species of native flora and fauna.

Which country has the most birds in the world?

Country / region
Bird species count

Is New Zealand the land of birds?

New Zealand is famous for its land birds like the kiwi and k?k?p?. But just as remarkable and unique are the seabirds. More than a third of the 80 or so species of seabirds that breed in New Zealand are endemic, or found nowhere else.

Which bird is native only to New Zealand?

Kea. The Kea is the worlds only alpine parrot and only lives in the high mountains of New Zealand. Although the Kea is considered endangered we often see them when we travel to Milford Sound on our summer tours. During winter it is also likely you’ll see a Kea hanging out at New Zealand ski fields.