Support our Dawn Chorus Appeal

Our forests are falling silent as introduced pests eat our native birds’ eggs and chicks, and the plants, seeds and fruit they need to survive. However, with your support, we can bring back a full choir of songbirds to our forests.

To hear some of our most beautiful soloists click on the play buttons below. And if you fancy yourself as a composer of sorts, craft your own birdsong symphonies by clicking on multiple buttons. Our feathery choir awaits your instruction! 

Kokako

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

Once found throughout much of New Zealand, this wattlebird is now restricted to a few forested patches in the northern part of the North Island. It is the only bird known to form same-sex unions. The kokako once had researchers stumped when several hundred pair bonds failed to produce chicks. Naturally civil unions weren’t going to produce offspring! Since then, control of introduced pests has led to a good recovery of the female population, with a numbers sitting around 1700 birds. As well as being part of the kokako recovery programme, Forest & Bird has re-introduced these songbirds into the pest-controlled sanctuary Ark in the Park in the northern Waitakere Ranges, Auckland.

Tui

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

The tui is an astute copycat, and has been known to master everything from ringtones to other bird’s calls. One such talented imitator memorised the Pizza Hutt jingle. As well as being an accomplished songbird, the tui acts as an important pollinator of many our native plants. Forest and Bird’s 40 reserves around the country have become home to large tui populations. Tui populations respond very well to pest control

Grey Warbler

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

This little battler is one of our most resilient native birds. Having on average two broods per year, with 3-6 eggs per brood, it is well placed to battle the onslaught of introduced pests such as rats, stoats and possums. Like many other native birds the grey warbler only truly thrives where introduced pest numbers are controlled. As well as resisting introduced predators grey warblers often find themselves raising shining cuckoo chicks – a duty they undertake without a tweet of complaint!

North Island Kiwi

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

Equipped with a strong pair of legs, North Island brown kiwi are prize-fighters once they're about one year old. However, before this age they are vulnerable to predation by introduced stoats. Once widespread throughout the North Island (NI), NI brown kiwi are only doing well on pest-free islands or in mainland areas which have intensive pest control. Since 1994, Forest & Bird has been part of the Bank of New Zealand's Save the Kiwi Trust which helps to fund the management of this species. BNZ's "Operation Nest Egg”   takes eggs from the wild, hatches the chicks and then raises them in ‘kiwi crèches’ , such as Bushy Park , until they are big enough to look after themselves.

Kaka

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

This inquisitive, chatterbox uses holes in trees to make its nests, making it particularly vulnerable to introduced predators, such as stoats. The kaka has a sweet tooth and feeds on sugary foods such as endemic mistletoe and rata and it is thought that it may require this high-sugar diet to breed. Unfortunately, introduced possums and wasps also like these sweet foods. Predated heavily; stripped of much of its habitat & now having to compete for its food, kaka populations have falled dramatically since the arrival of humans. They are only doing well on predator-free islands such as Kapiti island, and mainland areas where there is intensive pest control.

Kakapo

You need to have Flash installed and javascript enabled to view media on this site.

The kakapo is the world’s largest parrot, and with a population of just over 100 individuals, it's one of our most threatened birds. It has an extraordinary mating call, aptly described as’ booming’. A male kakapo will inflate its thoracic sac and release a sonic boom that can travel 5 kilometres. It can continue booming for eight hours, over a period of 2-3 months. Not a stay-at-home type, the male kakapo will leave the female to rear his young, making their offspring especially vulnerable to introduced predators – given that the female has to leave the nest to find food. A strong body odour also makes it prone to predation by introduced pests such as stoats and feral cats. Forest & Bird is part of the Kakapo Recovery Trust which helps to fund the management of this species on pest-free offshore islands
 

 

Find out more about our Dawn Chorus campaign click  here.