Bird Watching


Places within and near to Auckland City to go to watch birds include:

  • Tahuna Torea, Glen Innes - Fantail, silver-eye,grey warbler, tui and morepork.  Pukeko, white-faced heron, kingfisher, and pied and little shags feed in the pools.
  • Hamlins Hill/Mutukaroa, Penrose - now has native bush mature enough to attract tuis and other native birds like fantails. 
  • Pollen Island/Motu Manawa Marine Reserve/Traherne Island, Avondale - shorebirds travelling daily between the two main Harbours, Manukau and Kaipara, stop here to rest, and dotterels and fernbirds have been seen and heard on Pollen island and banded rail and grey warbler on Traherne Island.  Also seen at Pollen Island are Royal Spoonbills, Caspian terns, Variable Oystercathers, and several gull spp. 
  • Orakei Basin, Orakei - has established pied and little shag colonies on the southern shore.
  • Panmure Basin, Panmure - includes a long-established little shag colony .
  • Waikowhai Reserve, Hillsborough/Manukau Coast - work is being done in this area to control animal pests and re-establish it for keruru.
  • Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant coastal walkway, Mangere Bridge area has dramatic  and large populations of especially marine waders -  SI pied oystercatchers, royal spoonbills and wrybills in vast number.  There has been extensive restoration of this coastal environment recently, especially involving the creation of artificial bird-roosts and walkways and bird hides for  unrestricted viewing.
  • Waiatarua (reconstructed wetland) Meadowbank - many established f/w wetland species including pukeko, white-faced herons and little shags, and transient visits - a recent visitor seen here was an Intermediate Egret
  • Western Springs - (reconstructed wetland) - a significant waterway in the middle of town, with native waterfowl including pukeko, Australian coot, teal and shovelers. 
  • Miranda, Kaiaua, Firth of thames (a RAMSAR site - very large dramatic flocks of migratory birds like bar-tailed godwit and lesser knot, this is an ornithologist's haven - it offers one of the most accessible spots in NZ to see large populations of migratory wading birds)
  • Kaipara Harbour (refer the Kaipara branch birds including Papakunui Spit - many coastal species including fairy tern chicks on the beach
  • Hauraki Gulf and Islands  - many and various seabirds    and many of the larger islands now have had birds transferred to them, like Motutapu has pateke, saddlebacks, takahe and kakariki, and Motuihe has little spotted kiwi, saddlebacks and kakariki (as well   as resident keruru and moreporks) and Motuora has kiwi juveniles and petrels.
  • Pakiri Beach North breeding fairy terns - refer Fairy Tern campaign
  • Kendall Bay Birkenhead  - shorebirds and  tui, fantails, keruru(wood pigeon), silver eyes and parakeets (introduced ones)
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island - many different species, including takahe, kokako, teal, hihi, saddlebacks and many more re-introduced to the restored island
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  • Ark in the Park, Waitakere - the F&B project in Waitakere Ranges has had hihi /stitchbirds, North Island robins, kokako and whiteheads transferred there.    .



If members see unusual birds like kaka in the city, please let the Ornithological Socity know by emailing .   There are reports of increasing numbers of kakariki spreading out to the mainland from pest-controlled islands as well as kaka.  If you see any of these birds, please tell OSNZ and/or Central Auckland branch if the birds are seen in our branch's area (for example, sighting of a Royal Spoonbill at Tahuna Torea recently).  Some birds transferred to F&B's Ark in the Park at Waitakere are spreading out and may be seen in neighbouring gardens.  These birds will be banded so please check the band colours also if you see any.




To see information about  identifying and reporting any sightings of a NZ native falcon, click here