Posted by: birdzones | March 17, 2011


I’ve visited Japan twice. The first time I spent two weeks visiting family in Hobara, a rural town near Fukushima and one week in Sendai. The second time I spent two weeks in the north of Honshu, some time in Tokyo, and then to Kyoto where I visited a museum to see a number of Japanese automata. My plan is still to return to Japan and experience sakura – cherry blossom.

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge struck by Japanese tsunami

Midway Islands

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was home to more than two million birds.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service reported that 1,000 adult and adolescent Laysan albatross and tens of thousands of chicks died when the tsunami generated by last Friday’s powerful earthquake off the coast of Japan struck . Thousands of Bonin petrels are believed to have been buried alive.

Waves reaching 1.5 metres high smashed into the atoll just before midnight local time on 10 March and continued for the next few hours. The waves washed over 60% of Eastern Island, an islet of nearly 150 hectares inside the refuge.

Here are some links:

Some good news

Wisdom, a laysan albatross survived the tsunami. Aged 60-plus she was recently spotted raising a chick.

Posted by: birdzones | November 2, 2010

Kiwi and kaka

Click on the link to see a video of the kiwi release at Orokonui, Splashroom did a great job – thanks guys from those of us who couldn’t be there.

Today, 2nd November showed an English friend the Aramoana side of the peninsula and had lunch at Orokonui. On the way to Waitati saw 3 very playful kaka in the sky.

Posted by: birdzones | November 1, 2010

Kiwi arrive at Orokonui

On Friday 29 October eight rare Haast tokoeka were captured on islands in lakes Manapouri and Te Anau  by DoC staff, and brought to Dunedin. On Saturday, they were released into burrows at Orokonui Ecosanctuary. To read the article in the Otago Daily Times click here.

Posted by: birdzones | October 20, 2010

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Here is a link to a DoC blog about the Haast tokoeka kiwi. Eight of them have been translocated to the Sanctuary.

Posted by: birdzones | October 13, 2010

Matuku – Australasian bittern

This video by Peter Langlands and his brother Martin, won the Canterbury Biodiversity Film Competition. The endangered matuku primarily lives in freshwater wetlands, especially where there is a dense cover of raupo or reeds. In autumn or winter the bird may be found in coastal wetlands. Click on the picture to see the video.

Later this year, friends and I are looking for matuku in the Otago area. It will be an early start to the day as the bird is partly nocturnal – and very secretive.


Slight change of plan … we decided to arrive early evening and be there as the moon rose.  Spectacular moon, but alas no bittern.

Posted by: birdzones | October 9, 2010

What’s your favourite bird?

The annual 2010 Forest & Bird survey closed on October 13.

Past winners were the Tui (2005), Fantail (2006), Grey Warbler (2007), the Kakapo (2008) and the Kiwi (2009).

The ten favourite birds were:

1. kakariki

2. pukeko

3. weka

4. kiwi

5. kakapo

6. barn owl

7. morepork/ruru

8. fantail/piwakawaka

9. kea

10. tui

To see photographs check out the New Zealand Herald site

Posted by: birdzones | September 29, 2010

Last Child in the Woods

Richard Louv was awarded the 2008 Audubon Medal for his book Last Child in the Woods.

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the  people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and  individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children’s health and well-  being.

Posted by: birdzones | September 29, 2010

Children need nature

Our Every Child Outdoors research draws together the findings from the wide range of research into the positive impacts contact with nature has for children, as well as the environment. These include the educational benefits, contributions to physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as development of personal and social skills.

It also explores some of the consequences of the reduction of such experiences and, sadly, the increasingly-used term of Nature Deficit Disorder to describe the phenomenon.

The report includes new independent research from Ipsos MORI, commissioned by the RSPB, on the most remembered childhood experiences of nature amongst the general public. This discovered that 92% of people agree that these experiences are still important to children today, and that 82% agree that schools should play a role in providing them to all children.

Posted by: birdzones | September 29, 2010


This is one of my links.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestCams project uses a variety of technologies to broadcast in near real-time still image, and streaming video feeds to the Internet. There is a nationwide (USA) network of volunteers who feed their images via the internet so anyone can see them.

This links to a page with more information about setting up nest cams and how the images appear on the internet.

Posted by: birdzones | September 13, 2010

Just add worms

Just add worms

An interesting and practical website with a link to a great tui video ….

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