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How New Zealand Is Turning Me into a #BirdNerd

new zealand birds

I have many interests in life; don’t we all?

Obviously, travel is pretty much at the top of the list, but I also enjoy books that smell old, jumping into any and every body of water, bloggy stuff, and not to mention baking outrageous deserts and then eating them til I feel sick. I also love animals.

Puppies, kittehs, lambs and koalas, sea turtles and nemos, anything that makes a girl go “awwwww” I love. I’m sure I’m not the only one here. But birds? To use a very typical kiwi expression, “yeah nah.” Not really.

Baby ducklings? Yes. Fluffy baby chicks? Sure. Twitter? Abso-freaking-lutely. Any type of owl going hoot hoot? Yes (owls are the exception because owls are fucking awesome). But by no stretch of the imagination would I ever consider myself a bird aficionado.

Then I came to New Zealand, land of crazy weird amazing jurassic birds, and everything changed with a visit to Somes/Matiu Island and then on a night tour at Zealandia.

This is the story of how New Zealand is turning me into a bird nerd (copyright pending).

new zealand birds

A takahe at Zealandia in Wellington

It all started when my old roommate forced me to go camping on Matiu/Somes Island smack in the center of the Wellington Harbor. I was all bogged down with work and wanted to bail, but he guilted me into going. Turns out it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in Welly! Good friend.

Determined to disconnect with the world and reconnect with nature, I switched my phone to airplane mode on the ferry over.

Unlike pretty much every other island I’ve ever visited around the world, as soon as we got off the boat, we were hustled into a shed where we got the DL on the island, as well as having our bags searched.

Not for illicit drugs as, cough cough, us Americans might initially think, but for rats. Yes, rats.

new zealand birds

Somes/Matiu Island, like so many offshore island in New Zealand, is a sanctuary for native plants, animals and birds, and they don’t want you bringing in anything non-native, except for yourselves. Americans are welcome.

So what does that mean exactly?

New Zealand is special, if you haven’t already figured that out from my innumerable posts, tweets, pics, and shares of this magical land at the end of the world, but not special for just its wild landscapes, friendly people and crazy scenery.

New Zealand is also very special because of its wildlife, specifically its birds.

new zealand birds

Wellington Harbor

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

New Zealand as an island broke off and evolved for over 65 million years without mammals (except a couple of bats). Pause and just imagine that for a minute. Millions of lifetimes of isolation from animals found around the rest of the world enabled New Zealand to curate an incredible flora, fauna and natural history unlike anywhere else.

What does that mean? It means that New Zealand was a land of birds, and really freaking weird and unique birds that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. Too cool, right?

Bear with me. These birds evolved and developed without mammals hunting them, which means so many of them were flightless, like the famous kiwi, New Zealand’s iconic bird and nickname.

I mean look at it? How can you NOT love a kiwi?

new zealand birds

A little spotted kiwi

Before humans arrived in New Zealand, there were many types of incredible birds around the islands, though my favorite has to be the Moa, enormous flightless birds that grew over 12 feet tall. And to make it even more incredible, the Moa were hunted by gigantic Haast Eagles, the world’s biggest eagle, with over a 10 foot wingspan and rumored to have hunted Māori children.

Holy shit! Enormous birds twice the size of people and giant eagles that hunted them? My god, it doesn’t get more Middle Earth than that!

In fact, when Captain Cook arrived in the 1770’s the sounds of the birds in New Zealand was so loud it was described as deafening. Can you imagine that?

new zealand birds

Source

new zealand birds

Source

Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Like so many beautiful, remote and undiscovered corners of the world, people eventually find them, and ruin them.

The Moa went extinct shortly after the Māori arrived and began hunting them, with the giant eagles dying out soon after. But the long-term problem wasn’t hunting, it was introduced pests. With Māori and European settlers came critters like cats, dogs, rats, mice, possums, weasels, and other foreign animals that eventually destroyed their habitats and killed off 40% of New Zealand’s native birds. That’s almost half!

However, humans in New Zealand eventually realized the giant clusterfuck and havoc they wreaked up the native birdlife, and huge, and I mean HUGE top dollar conservation efforts have been put in place over the past century-ish to help bring back some of these incredible winged and maybe-not-winged beauties from the brink of extinction.

See? I’m turning into a bird nerd already! #BirdNerd – let’s get this trending guys!

new zealand birds

Some of the many extinct NZ birds

new zealand birds

Coming full-circle, this is why places like Somes/Matiu Island exist in New Zealand. Dedicated bird lovers and the Dept. of Conservation spend a few years and a shitload of money clearing these islands of introduced pests that kill birds, like possums, rats and even cats, and then move these endangered bird species over onto the islands to live in safety so they can start repopulating.

Jesus, look at me using words like “introduced pests” and “repopulating.” I barely recognize myself!

So proud are New Zealanders of protecting and preserving their special birdlife heritage that there are sayings here like if you see a possum or a stoat while driving, you should run it over.

Blink blink, right on, I guess.

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

In a bizarre way, I really like that, and it’s one thing I really love about this country.

New Zealand not only recognizes that they have both a very special landscape and wildlife that MUST be preserved but also that so many people are behind it wholeheartedly, none of this half-assed “oh yeah protect the land but no I won’t actually do anything to help” apathetic attitude you find in the rest of the world.

Kiwis love their kiwis and if that means running over a rat with the kids in the car? Well, teach them early, right?

new zealand birds

Somes/Matiu Island was my first taste of this whole other world and my first glimpse into both the awesome birdlife here and New Zealand conservation. A little teaser, it isn’t actually home to the really endangered birds, but it was the spark I didn’t know I needed to get me thinking about New Zealand birds.

After watching the sun set over the top of the island, with the lights of Wellington twinkling in the distance with colorful Kākāriki (New Zealand parakeets) flitting around the flax plants, my friends and I decided to go exploring and see if we could get a glimpse of some of the amazing animals we learned about earlier.

new zealand birds

In just a few hours we managed to see jurassic tuataras (cool lizards), giant wetas (massive cricket-esque bugs) and my personal favorite, little blue penguins.

Cue girly EEEEEEPS!

That was the first time I realized how much MORE New Zealand had to offer than I had ever imagined, and it got me thinking about what more there was to discover in my new homeland.

With a newfound curiosity and a little research I found about Zealandia, a eco-sanctuary right in Wellington. In fact, it’s located up in Karori, which was 10 minutes from my house, so I had NO excuse not to visit.

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

Zealandia is groundbreaking for many reasons, but mostly because it’s a massive 225ha valley in central Wellington that’s the first fully fenced in and mammal/predator free sanctuary in a city. With the idea of “bringing the birds back to Wellington,” Zealandia was born.

While I knew I wanted to visit during the day to experience this huge reserve, I also was super excited to find out that the have a special tour called Zealandia by Night where you go on a guided tour of the sanctuary at night, and wait for it, have the chance to see kiwis in the wild, well close to the wild at least. FLUFFY KIWIS!

new zealand birds

Since I know so little about birds, especially birds over in this part of the world, a guided tour was the perfect introduction. Zealandia is set up with a colorful and fun education center – trust me on this, it’s hard to make bird conservation and history interesting, but Zealandia managed to make that happen.

Let me just say giant animatronic Moas are involved.

I think one thing I love about the birds in New Zealand is that each and every single one is fascinating and has quirks and stereotypical personalities. Here are some of my favorite New Zealand birds…so far.

new zealand birds

A kaka at Zealandia

new zealand birds

Tui – if you come to New Zealand, you will probably notice Tui beer everywhere. They are one of the most common birds and have beautiful calls. They are also a bit crazy, just how I like it, and you will hear them a lot because they can be aggressive. They are also great mimics. With the flourishing bird community in Wellington, there are tuis all over town now.

Kaka – kakas are large brown forest parrots, similar to keas, the intelligent alpine parrots on the South Island. They are really smart and will steal your food given half the chance. I’ve even seen them fly into buildings and nick food right off the table. And they are not small.

Kererū – Kererūs are big wood pigeons that love berries. In fact, sometimes they gorge themselves on berries so much they get drunk and fall out of the trees. A bird after my own heart.

new zealand birds

Takahē – Takahēs are really special because they were declared extinct, but then were rediscovered in the Fiordlands in the 40’s, and now they have been repopulated. Even so, there are only 225  takahēs in the world here in New Zealand, so they are really rare – Zealandia is pretty much the only place you can see them.

Ruru – Rurus are the only surviving native owls left in New Zealand, and since I LOVE owls, I love rurus, or moreporks. They are also significant in Māori legends and stories.

new zealand birds

Kakapo – I’ve saved the best for last. Kakapo are by far my favorite New Zealand bird. They are really rare, with less than 150 birds left, and they are a fat nocturnal flightless parrot. They are very strange-looking birds, but in an endearing, awesome way. I think they look like parrot owls with whiskers, and they look like they are very old.

There is a very famous kakapo named Sirocco (you can like his FB page here), who once tried to mate with a zoologist with Stephen Fry on a BBC special in New Zealand.

Please watch the video here. And then rewatch and rewatch because it’s HILARIOUS. Poor Sirocco was ill as a baby and had to be hand-raised by people, which means he imprinted on humans and doesn’t realize he’s a bird. This also means he sneaks up on unsuspecting people, jumps on their heads and tries to mate with them – which in my book makes him the most fascinating bird on the planet.

new zealand birds

The classic New Zealand male spotted in his natural habitat along with a kakapo

Source

new zealand birds

Source Tom Lynch

But back to the kiwis, specifically little spotted kiwis.

Since kiwis are nocturnal, the only proper way to see them is at night, making Zealandia by Night perfect. It doesn’t get more New Zealand than seeing a kiwi, and I was determined to make that happen.

Guided by red flashlights (red doesn’t bother the animals) we explored Zealandia after hours, seeing all sorts of great creatures like wetas, tuataras, and of course, kiwis.

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

A baby tuatara

new zealand birds

It must have been an hour of walking the trails searching and listening for kiwis, with the sky finally turned from blue to inky black when our guide stopped, paused and motioned us forward. Turning her red flashlight on towards the undergrowth, I finally got to see a kiwi in the countryside, digging in the ground with its long beak and hopping around.

We watched mesmerized, knowing we were getting to witness something very special and rare.

Literally holding my breath, I realized several profound things. First and foremost, kiwis are really noisy. They are not a stealthy bird, no wonder they faced extinction. Secondly, they are way bigger than you think they are, and they are just as cute, if not cuter in person.

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

At the Rata Cafe at Zealandia, they have FABULOUS brunches

But most importantly, I realized that kiwis, like all New Zealand birds deserve to be protected. How sad is it that people almost destroyed these amazing birds forever, and yet how amazing is it that so many people have come together over the past 100 years to bring them back to life?

I mean, how often does that happen in the wildlife world?

new zealand birds

I think promoting conservation in any sphere around the world is really hard. Nowadays with our heads buried online and so many things going on in our lives, why on earth should we care about some random bird in New Zealand?

It makes me sad but I think it’s really unrealistic for animal groups and the like to expect people to automatically care about things like kiwis.

You have to show them, you have to offer experiences like these night tours at Zealandia, you have to make them accessible and visible, force them in front of people so we care. In retrospect I think I owe my old roommate a beer for forcing me to go to Matiu/Somes Island and start to think about these kinds of things, what do you think?

new zealand birds

new zealand birds

I can’t speak for everyone, but I bet you anyone who has had the chance to see a kiwi in a sanctuary will probably tell you they care more about protecting them than someone who hasn’t.

For me, my love for these birds is only growing, and my interest in their past, present and future is only getting stronger. Who knew my journey to New Zealand would lead down a path of becoming a total #BirdNerd?

Have you ever seen a kiwi? Would you like to see one? What do you think about these birds? Are you a bird nerd too?

Many thanks to Zealandia for hosting me on their Zealandia by Night Tour – like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect anything less from me. 

Image sources – Tui, Takahe, Kereru, and Ruru by Steve Attwood, Kaka by Bill Beale, Kakapo source

62 Responses to How New Zealand Is Turning Me into a #BirdNerd

  1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels April 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    I have to say I’m not at all surprised that you are a bird nerd… it suits you. Plus, I feel like later you can you your birding knowledge in a conversation with adults and it will really make you shine =p I personally am a little afraid of birds. It’s their eyes. And beaks. Love the photos as always!

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      haha thanks! Yeah their beaks freak me out a little too, I think it’s because they are smart and you don’t know what they’re thinking

  2. Kathi April 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    Awesome post!
    I wish I had done more bird activities in New Zealand. Well, I guess next time. 🙂 One night I did hear a kiwi when I was sitting outside my hostel though.

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      Awesome! Their calls are really distinctive! I’m glad I’m learning them 🙂

  3. Siobhan April 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    I really miss the call of the Tui! Such a pretty little noise I liked to listen to when drinking my morning tea out in the back garden. Interesting post 🙂

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      Yeah I love their calls too!

  4. Jen April 1, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    I find birds absolutely terrifying and I have no reason why. I have never had a bad experience, haven’t been swooped, pooped on, nothing! I just find them terribly unpredictable. I do however like to enjoy looking at them from afar and share your love and interest in Owls. That Ruru is the cutest!

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      Owls are AWESOME!

  5. Leah April 2, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    I think you’ve been a #birdnerd for years! I seem to remember a very adorable pair of pet ducks in a certain tiny Spanish kitchen… RIP :/

    Awesome post! The ruru is pretty adorable (sqeeee).

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      OMFG I totally forgot about them! Definitely blocked that from my memory jesus haha

  6. Charli | Wanderlusters April 2, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I’m so on board with your #birdnerd ing Liz. We’ve been exploring new Zealand for the last 18 months and I’ve literally turned into the female equivalent of David Attenborough. The wildlife here is just IMMENSE! While I’ve yet to spot the illusive Kiwi bird I’m in love with the colour and form of the little critters that call this place home.

    I wish I had known about Somes/Matiu Island while we were down near Welly. We’re spending our last 6 weeks exploring Northland so won’t get back down before we leave sob sob.

    P.s totes jealous of your new home in Wanaka. I’m in love with the landscape down there.

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      bummer! You have to come back! Somes Island is amazing! Enjoy Northland though, lots of kiwis up there I think!

  7. Abby April 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh my do I love a kiwi! I visited New Zealand a year ago with my husband’s family. I soo wanted to do the Zealandia night tour but ran out of time! We did spend the better part of a day there! So awesome! While in Queenstown, we visited some kiwi houses (this was a must on my list). I could have watched the kiwis all day! I fell head over heels for these fascinating birds. I didn’t want to leave. Since coming back to the states, I gobble up all the kiwi info I can find. I want to do so much for these wonderful birds and make people aware of how precious they are. You know how some people say they have a calling? I think helping kiwis is mine. I’d love to work with the kiwi birds! As a professional artist, I hope to one day help kiwi conservation groups with any art assets they need 🙂 Long comment, but I had to share my kiwi obsession with you!

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      Sounds like you need to come back and see some more kiwis here then!

  8. Jo April 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    I saw three kiwis on the night tour plus a morepork/ruru. The Ruru breed in Zealandia. My husband has pictures of the adults and two bakks of fluff (the chicks). I volunteer at Zealandia.

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      wow what a job!

  9. Andi April 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Love the pics! I would become a bird nerd too!!!

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      Come visit then!

  10. Polly April 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Kiwis are definitely the greatest creatures I’ve ever seen! I was even gifted a strange kiwi made with possum fur while in NZ (sure you’ve sen these — when I was there, they were everywhere).

    Also, #birdnerd is great. Much respect.

    • Liz April 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      woah that’s bizarre, I want one!

  11. SnarkyNomad April 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    So…did you know the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was invited on all sorts of nature excursions to document rare and bizarre animals? And one of his expeditions was to study the kakapo, and he gave an absolutely hilarious talk on the whole situation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZG8HBuDjgc

    It’s really fascinating. He points out that the since the kakapo had no predators, it evolved to be horribly bad at reproduction. Their mating call is a deep bass sound. I’m paraphrasing here: “You know how you can put a subwoofer anywhere in the room, because bass sounds seem like they’re coming from everywhere? That’s the kakapo’s mating call. So the ladies have no idea where it’s coming from, so nobody gets any action.”

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      awesome! Thansk for the link!

  12. Taylor April 3, 2014 at 2:21 am #

    I’m looking forward to seeing me some kiwis when I visit, they’re such puff balls. Great photos, I think the owl is my favorite!

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      I know! Love the puff balls!

  13. Melanie Fontaine April 3, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    I definitely wouldn’t describe myself as a bird lover, but the story about the now extinct bird species on New Zealand are super fascinating! It’s sad to see how human influence has destroyed such an amazing and different ecosystem – but I’m glad to see that NZ has been working on saving the existence of these birds!

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      I feel the same way 🙂

  14. Nina April 3, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    I like birds but I’ve never tought of them as cute pets.. And now I need my own “Sirocco”.

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      haha not pets! They’re wild 😀

  15. Ellia April 3, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    You’ve completely re-animated my love for NZ with this post. The empathy and kindness of the Kiwi folk is just astounding, and their conservation efforts are just one of many examples of how passionate they are about their country. It’s so rare to see people love and care for their nation so much! Im from the UK and, I can tell you, we don’t get a lot of that.

    My bf and I lived in NZ for a couple of months a while back and have been thinking of moving back there to live, and it’s seeing posts like this that make me want to move right this minute, and make it seem all the more possible!

    Keep up the awesome posts – love your honesty and how your always so gosh darn hilarious!

    Ellia xxx

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      beautifully put! Yes you need to come back, NZ is the place to be! WE don’t get that kind of love in the US either, it’s one of the main reasons I feel so happy here 🙂

  16. Paul April 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Glad you discovered the great birds of New Zealand. It has some of the most amazing birds on earth, even without the moa. You didn’t even mention the bellbird, which really sounds like a bell, or the tiny little fantails that flutter around you like butterflies on the trail. I wasn’t even a birder when I was there but I was captivated by them. One day I’ll go back just for the birds.

    • Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      I love both those birds too, you definitely should come back for a birdie trip 🙂

  17. Brisa Libre April 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Hello Liz, love your post and all of the pictures! What camera do you use? I’m going to study in Spain this summer and I’m debating on which camera I should buy. Thanks.

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      I have a canon 60D which I love and my iphone 5, depends on how into photography you are. most point and shoots are really great, and I’ve always loved Canon!

  18. Dana April 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    I’m headed to Zealandia tomorrow, and reading this was a good background. Another place to spot native birds, including endangered ones, is Tiritiri Matangi Island near Auckland. I haven’t been myself but it has rave reviews on TripAdvisor and the island is quite small so it’s apparently easy to spot birds.

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      Yeah I would love to head up there soon!

  19. Annette | Bucket List Journey April 4, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    It looks like it’d be easy to become a Bird Nerd in New Zealand! Lovely photos 🙂

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      it’s so easy!

  20. Marie @ Budgeting for Travel April 5, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Nice photos! There are many kinds of birds in NZ. That was amazing! Twas easy to become a bird nerd there then.

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      so many wonderful birds here!

  21. Marcello Arrambide April 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Woah! That’s a lot of birds! 😀 They look really adorable.

    And do kiwis really say “yeah nah”? Haha.

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      yeah they do and it’s so confusing!

  22. Em April 7, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    I love this post! The picture of you with the bird walking next to you is hilarious it’s like you’re just having a chat and a wander really made me giggle. The Kiwi’s are sooo cute I bet you wanted to cuddle one right? I would.
    I will definitely be adding Zealandia to my list of things to do when I hit NZ next year (finances pending) loved the story of your transformation to Bird Nerd – I would be impressed if it could turn me into one kind of scared of things of the feathered kind except penguins and owls because like you said – cute and amazing!
    x

    • Liz April 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      I would love to cuddle a kiwi!

  23. Kristen April 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Man, Liz- what an awesome blog you have! I too have become a self-proclaimed #birdnerd since moving to New Zealand! I loved your take on it and leaning about Zealandia (who knew??). Thanks for sharing. Also if you have any tips on how to create such a beautiful and successful blog, I’m all ears!

    Cheers!
    Kristen, Chch

  24. Kerri April 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    It’s always a shame when humans go in and ruin everything. I’ve never considered myself a bird nerd, but I like to think I can appreciate a pretty cool looking bird 😉

  25. Sam April 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Firstly, you have an incredible blog, it’s very insightful & relatable.

    And I’ve got to say, I’ve been going through all your photos & damn you are good with a camera & I mean like so good you should be taking photos for NZ tourism.

    I’m a Kiwi and when you’re born here & grow up here, you get use to your surroundings and you take what you have for granted. A lot of us are caught in the daily grind and don’t even really appreciate or explore the diverse natural beauty of NZ. Your blog would be great for igniting the passion in a lot of NZers.

    Speaking of native New Zealand birds, there’s also the very cheeky, highly intelligent Kea. Here’s a great little David Attenborough documentary about them if you’re interested, they’re really quite incredible – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak6omNRd6-g

    • Liz April 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      thank you so much! I really love the Keas!

  26. Lisa May 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Absolutely loved this Liz.
    As a kiwi not living in her native country I always love to hear from others about how beautiful NZ is, I somewhat always thought that I was being too patriotic when telling others about how amazing my country is, but have since realised after travelling through many countries myself how truly beautiful and rugged (with no word of a lie) that NZ is.
    I too became a #birdnerd (its totally a thing) whilst holidaying there last year :(holidaying in my own country). My parents even have a resident morepork couple on there property which are the cutest things. Helped ofcourse by the fact that my farther has spent years planting native plants to encourage more bird to hang out on the property….
    This is something that I treasure about NZ, our willingness to embrace the natural environment and culture and consider these things to be important.
    Also desperately loving the pics.
    Aroha to you Liz

  27. Lisa May 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I agree with Ellia’s post earlier. I am a native kiwi and I think every NZ’er has an inherited passion for our country. Like a mother with her baby, the feeling of protection runs deep. We are educated from an early age about the importance of nature and preserving this for next generations to come. Conservation is not just a minority choice here, but an ingrained feeling of personal obligation. I am glad NZ is touching you in the way she is meant to.

  28. Dan H June 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    I love this blog… Thanks for sharing. I got to Wellington from the US about a year ago and never would have guessed how bird crazy I could become. I have been on a mission to get as many photos of different species as possible while I am here. . .

  29. Trace February 6, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    Birds are AWESOME! haha people make fun of me for liking them so much, but it’s a never-ending adventure when it comes to finding and seeing new kinds of birds. And they can have really fun and quirky personalities too.

    • Liz February 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      EXACTLY!

  30. Jessica @ Green Global Travel June 26, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    Amazing post! I truly enjoyed reading about all your adventures here, and I agree that your friend deserves some thanks for inviting you to Matiu/Somes Island! I am not familiar with many of the native birds of new Zealand, so I loved seeing the bird pictures you’ve posted here!

  31. Aaron July 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Liz,

    Another awesome post! Over 8 months living in NZ and I have to say bird watching is one of the best things to do (never thought i’d say that) keep up the great work 🙂

    Ngā mihi
    Aaron

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