News | 19 November 2021

Friday Five: Native manu to spot around Pōneke

We are lucky enough to have many different native birds in Pōneke. Here are five to look out for in the city.

Tūi image courtesy of Holly Neill

1. Tūī 

You are likely to hear the beautiful song of the bossy tūī before you spot it. 

Thanks to all the conservation work happening around the city, over the last 10 years there has been a 121 percent increase in tūī in Pōneke

You can find this bird throughout Wellington, particularly in places with native forest and bush. 

A bellbird or korimako sitting on a thin branch with a green blurry background.
Photo by Janice McKenna

2. Korimako 

The korimako, or bellbird, is harder to spot in Pōneke. Until they were released at Zealandia in 2001 they were regarded as ‘functionally extinct’ in this region. 

A Māori proverb used to complement great orators and singers compares them to the korimako’s beautiful song: 'He rite ki te kōpara e kō nei i te ata' (just like a korimako singing at dawn). You can find out more about the korimako on the Zealandia website.

If you are lucky, you may spot this bird in the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā. They have also been spotted in suburbs such as Kelburn and Thorndon. 

A kākā bird sitting on a wooden post in Kelburn with a cloudy sky in the background.
Photo by Aislin Kelly

3. Kākā 

This cheeky bird is another manu reintroduced into Pōneke by Zealandia. 

These birds have coloured bands on their legs. The three bands can be used to identify the birds. The large band is the cohort band, and the smaller two bands are to identify the individual bird. These are read left leg – right leg. 

If you visit the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā or nearby suburbs you are almost sure to spot this curious large parrot swooping around or climbing trees.  

A brightly coloured kereru bird, perching on foliage with yellow flowers.
Photo by Tony Stoddard

4. Kererū 

It is likely that you have heard the whoosh whoosh, crash! of the clumsy kererū landing in a tree before. 

The kererū plays an important role in dispersing the seed of large native stone fruit. Since the extinction of moa, the kererū is the only bird large enough to swallow the fruit of karaka, miro, tawa and taraire. 

This bird can be found munching on berries or flowers in the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and other bushy areas of the city.  

5. Tauhou

Unlike the other birds on this list, the tauhou is fairly recent addition to New Zealand. More commonly known as the silvereye, they are a self-introduced species which travelled here from Australia in the 1800s.

The translation for tauhou is ‘stranger’ or ‘new arrival’, reflecting its short history in Aotearoa. 

Today, this little ball of feathers is widespread in Pōneke. It can be spotted both in suburbs and parks around the city.

Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city (depending on our Alert Level!)