Wild Birds

New Zealand Waterbirds / Waders Seabirds, Shorebirds / Inland

Index of Water / Wetland Birds found in New Zealand

Parrots … Parrots … Birds of Prey / OwlsPigeons / Doves

Auckland Islands Teal (A. a. aucklandica) – Range: Auckland Islands off New Zealand

Auckland Shag (Phalacrocorax colensoi)

Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) aka Brown Bittern

Australasian Darters or Australian Darters (Anhinga novaehollandiae)

Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator)

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

Australasian Shoveler – Ducks (Anas rhynchotis)

Australian Pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus) aka Goolayyalibee – Range: Vagrant to New Zealand

Bar-tailed Godwit / shorebird (Limosa lapponica) – Range: Winter visitor

Black-bellied Storm-Petrel (Fregetta tropica) – Seabird

Black-fronted Dotterel / Plover (Elseyornis melanops) – Range: Self-introduced in New Zealand

Black-fronted Terns (Chlidonias albostriatus) – Found in or near bodies of fresh water in New Zealand.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) – Range: Some argue that black swans are natives (self-introduced); others list them as introduced / invasive species. Arguments can be made for both. Black Swans were introduced into New Zealand as ornamental water birds. However, there are some indications that some populations are self-introduced natives. The result of this discussion is of importance in as much being classified as “natives” would offer these swans legal protection; at the moment they are considered invasive species and are commonly hunted / killed for sport or as tourist attractions.

Black Stilt or Kak? (M?ori) (Himantopus novaezelandiae) – Range: One of the most threatened shorebirds in the world. The current population is estimated at 22 adult birds. There is a captive population of some 25 adults, annual release in the wild of captive-bred birds and predator control has probably prevented it from becoming extinct in the wild. During the breeding season it is restricted to the upper Waitaki Valley, South Island, New Zealand. Small numbers overwinter in the North Island.

Black Teal aka New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae)

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) – Seabird

Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchus)

Bounty Shag (Phalacrocorax ranfurlyi)

Buller’s Albatross (Thalassarche bulleri) – Range: Islands around New Zealand

Buller’s Shearwater (“Puffinus” bulleri) aka Grey-backed Shearwater or New Zealand Shearwater – seabird – Range: Breed predominantly on Tawhiti Rahi and Aorangi, the main islands of the Poor Knights group offshore northern New Zealand

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) – Seabird – Range: Found on the sub-antarctic Antipodes Islands and other islands off the coast of New Zealand

Brolga Cranes (Grus rubicunda) – Range: Rare vagrants

Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis)

Campbell Albatross (Thalassarche impavida) – Range: Campbell Island (New Zealand) and the associated islet of Jeanette Marie

Campbell Island Teal (Anas nesiotis) – Range: Campbell Island group off New Zealand

Campbell Shag (Phalacrocorax campbelli)

Canada Geese – Introduced as a game bird into New Zealand

Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae)

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) – Range: Breed in New Zealand

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia formerly Sterna caspia)

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Chatham Albatross (Thalassarche eremita) – Range: Breeds only on The Pyramid, a large rock stack in the Chatham Islands, New Zealand.

Chatham Island Oystercatcher (Haematopus chathamensis) – Range: Chatham Islands, New Zealand.

Chatham Island Snipe (Coenocorypha pusilla) – Endemic to the Chatham Islands of New Zealand

Chatham Petrel (Pterodroma axillaris)

Cook’s Petrel (Pterodroma cookii) – Range: Pacific Ocean from New Zealand north to the Aleutian Islands

Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus) aka the Banded Dotterel

Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta)

Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) – Range: Oceanic region of New Zealand

Erect-crested Penguins (Eudyptes sclateri)

Far Eastern Curlew or Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) – Rare visitor.

Fiordland Crested Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) – Range: New Zealand – along the Fiordland coast and its outlying islands as well as on Stewart Island/Rakiura

Flesh-footed Shearwater – seabird (Puffinus carneipes) – Range: Northern New Zealand

Fluttering Shearwater (Puffinus gavia)

Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), also known as the Great White Egret, White Heron, Common Egret or Kotuku

Great-winged Petrel or Grey-faced Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) – Range: Northern New Zealand

Grey-backed Storm-petrel (Garrodia nereis) – Seabird

Grey-headed Albatrosses (Thalassarche chrysostoma) – Range: Campbell Island (New Zealand) and Macquarie Island south of New Zealand

Grey Noddy or Grey Ternlet (Procelsterna albivitta) – Range: Breeds in northern New Zealand (particularly the Kermadec Islands)

Grey Petrel (Procellaria cinerea)

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), known as the Black-bellied Plover in North America – Range: Rare visitor

Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)

Hardhead or White-eyed Ducks (Aythya australis)

Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) – Rare visitor

Hutton’s Shearwaters (Puffinus huttoni) – Range: Found in New Zealand, with breeding restricted to only two remaining colonies in the Kaikoura Seaward Ranges, Kaikoura.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri)

King Shag aka New Zealand King Shag or Rough-faced Shag (Phalacrocorax carunculatus)

Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) aka Japanese Snipe – Range: Rare straggler to New Zealand

Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) – Range: Northern New Zealand

Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor) – Range: Coastline of New Zealand

Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) – Range: Coastline of New Zealand

Little Pied Cormorant, Little Shag or Kawaupaka (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) – Range: Coasts, islands, estuaries, and inland waters

Magenta Petrel or Chatham Island Taiko (Pterodroma magentae)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – Range: Introduced into New Zealand

Mottled Petrel (Pterodroma inexpectata) – Seabird – Range: Breeds in New Zealand and some of the lesser islands

Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) – A small colony has established near Wanganui, New Zealand

New Zealand Coot (Fulica prisca) (prehistoric)

New Zealand Dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus, or Weweia) – Grebes

New Zealand Dotterel or Red-breasted Plover (Charadrius obscurus)

New Zealand Fairy Tern or tara-iti (Sterna nereis davisae) – Breed on the lower half of the Northland Peninsula of the North Island of New Zealand; on Waipu, Mangawhai, and the South Kaipara Head. The wintering range of the birds extends over the Kaipara Harbour. Outside of the breeding season fairy terns form flocks on the harbour, often around Tapora.

New Zealand King Shag aka Rough-faced Shag (Phalacrocorax carunculatus)

New Zealand Little Bittern (Ixobrychus novaezelandiae) – Extinct

New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae)

New Zealand Snipes (Coenocorypha) – Range: Outlying Islands of New Zealand

New Zealand Storm-petrel (Oceanites maorianus) – seabird

New Zealand Swan (Cygnus atratus sumnerensis) – Range: Chatham Islands and the South Island of New Zealand

North Island Takah? or m?ho (Porphyrio mantelli) – Range: An extinct rail that was found in the North Island of New Zealand

Oriental Plover (Charadrius veredus) aka Oriental Dotterel – Range: Straggler to New Zealand

Pacific Black Duck aka Grey Duck or Parera (Anas superciliosa)

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)

Parkinson’s Petrel or Black Petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) – Range: New Zealand, breeding only on islands off the North Island, on Great Barrier Island and Little Barrier Island.

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris or Erolia melanotos) – Range: Winter in New Zealand

Pycroft’s Petrel (Pterodroma pycrofti) – Seabird

Pied Cormorant aka Pied Shag or Karuhiruhi (Phalacrocorax varius) – Range: Around the coasts of Australasia

Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Pied Stilt or White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus or Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus)

Pitt Cormorant or Featherstone’s Shag (Phalacrocorax featherstoni)

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), also known as the Purple Gallinule

Red-billed Gull (Larus scopulinus) – Range: New Zealand and outlying islands including the Chatham Islands and Sub-antarctic islands

Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) aka Red-capped Dotterel – Range: Straggler to New Zealand

Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) – Range: Vagrant to New Zealand

Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda)

Royal Penguins (Eudyptes schlegeli) – Range: Around the New Zealand coast

Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) also known as the Black-billed Spoonbill – Range: Fresh and saltwater wetlands in New Zealand

Salvin’s Albatrosses (Thalassarche salvini)

Salvin’s Prion (Pachyptila salvini) – Seabirds

Shore Plover or Tuturuatu (Thinornis novaeseelandiae) – Range: South Island in New Zealand but became extinct there.

Short-tailed Shearwater or Muttonbird / Moonbird (Puffinus tenuirostris) – Seabirds

Shy Albatross / Shy Mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta) – Range: Breeds off New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands and ranges extensively across the Southern Ocean

Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus) aka Snares Crested Penguin and the Snares Islands Penguin – Range: The Snares, a group of islands off the southern coast of the South Island

Soft-plumaged Petrel (Pterodroma mollis) – Breeds on the Antipodes Islands of New Zealand

Sooty Albatrosses (Phoebetria fusca) – Range: Rare vagrants

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) – Seabirds

Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides – Range: Small numbers are seen off the coasts of New Zealand

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) – Found in the waters surrounding New Zealand

South Georgia Diving-petrel or Georgian Diving-petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus) – Range: Breeds on Codfish Island and formerly bred on the Auckland Islands. It disperses to surrounding seas.

South Island Oystercatcher (Haematopus finschi) – South Island

Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis)

Spotted Shag

Spur-winged Plover aka Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae) – Range: Self introduced to Southland, New Zealand

Stewart Island Shag (Phalacrocorax chalconotus) aka Bronzed Shag or Stewart Shag – Range: Southernmost parts of the South Island of New Zealand, from the Otago Peninsula south to the Foveaux Strait, and to Stewart Island

Takah? or South Island Takah? ( Porphyrio hochstetteri) / flightless rail

Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) – Endemic – Range: Breed in North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and Chatham Islands. They don’t breed inland or beside rivers.

Weka Rail

Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) is a rare seabird – Range: Confined to a small area of the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island in an area protected in Paparoa National Park in dense forested hills.

White-bellied Storm-Petrel (Fregetta grallaria) (seabird)

White-capped Albatross (Thalassarche steadi) – Range: Breeds on the islands off of New Zealand, i.e., Disappointment Island, Auckland Island / Adams Island, Bollons Island (Antipodes Islands)

White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae, formerly Ardea novaehollandiae)

White-faced Storm-petrel (Pelagodroma marina) – Seabird

White-flippered Penguins (Eudyptula albosignata albosignata) – Range: Banks Peninsula and Motunau Island, near Canterbury, New Zealand

White-necked Petrel (Pterodroma cervicalis) – Seabird

Wrybill or Ngutuparore (Anarhynchus frontalis) – Plover

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes): – Range: Vagrant

Yellow-eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) – Range: Southeast New Zealand


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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