There are many birds to be found in the Garden, especially if you move around quietly.

The following are links to some of the main birds you will find. You can click on the links on this page, or use the 'Garden features/fauna/birds' menu options.

The site NZ Birds provides excellent information. A list of all the birds on that site can be found at

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Often seen and heard in the Garden. Their strident call and white tuff under the chin makes them distinctive. With the removal of possums they have become increasingly common.

Often heard during the evening Glow worm walks with its distinctive call.

Visit the Duck Pond and you will see plenty of these.

It is also worth looking at the information onf the Grey Duck

If you are quiet you will sometimes see this spectacular bird, but more likely you will hear his noisy flight.

These native birds have two colour forms - pied and black. In the South Island the black phase makes up 12-25% of the population, but only .1% in the North Island - mainly around Wellington and has been seen in the Garden. Fantails are widespread and locally abundant - one of the most common native birds, which has benefited from the large-scale clearance of forest and the creation of forest edge and scrub habitats.

These diminutive birds are often heard in the Garden but very rarely seen. They have a very loud call and are quite common. They are one of the few native species to have adapted to, or even benefited from, human modifications of the landscape. They are the only host to the shining cuckoo, a native about the size of a sparrow, that does not say "cuckoo" like the British species, but instead has a rather harsh call. Fortunately the grey warbler nests earlier than the arrival of the cuckoo and so is able to raise one brood before the next clutch of eggs are parasitised by the larger bird. Male grey warblers defend their territory with loud and prolonged singing. They feed on insects and spiders taken from under leaf litter, and also eat a few small fruits.


These very common birds colonized New Zealand from Australia. They were first recorded in 1832, but it was not until 1856 that they arrived in large numbers and colonized permanently. The Maori name means stranger. Now, however they are among the most abundant of New Zealand's birds.

Magpies were introduced from Australia in 1864-67, to try to control pasture pests and were protected until 1951. They eat grass grubs, weevils and porina caterpillars, but probably do not keep these pests under control. They are fiercely territorial during the breeding season and will attack people as well as other birds. They are now considered to be a pest and a danger to native birds.


Kaka Kapers

(Lower 3 images)
The destruction continues, with recent significant damage of the

Sequiodendron in the James Hector Pinetum, with some leaders dying as a result of the attacks.  The extent of the damage can be clearly seen in the last image.    The amount of damage in the Garden and around the city is now quite serious, and if it continues could have a major impact on our Garden,  especially for the historic exotic trees. September 2010

A detailed expanded and updated article on kaka (UPDATED 29.3.10)    click
Flash slide show of kaka damage   click
Not long ago a small number of kaka were introduced into the Wellington area.  They have been busy doing what parrots do well, with the result numbers have significantly increased.  They are now starting to do what they do second best - be destructive.  A number of trees have been significantly damaged as a result of their actions, as the above photos show.  They have damaged trees throughout the Garden and if their attacks continue,  some trees could be killed.  They are a delightful bird, but their presence certainly had a downside.
Photographs are from a number of different areas in the Garden
(Photos James Jones 3 top; Phil Tomlinson bottom 3) 

Recently introduced back into the local landscape, numbers are quickly increasing.  They are making their presence felt in the Garden with their destructive tendencies.

Other birds you will see include:

House sparrow
Song thrush

There will be others, but this covers the main ones you are likely to encounter.