Birds species in Marlborough

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Marlborough is home to a wide variety of bird species, with its extensive coastline and esturine environments providing habitats for shore birds, while extensive areas of native bush support many other species.

If you have seen a bird that you need to identify, New Zealand Birds Online provides a comprehensive guide.

Astralasian Coot adult feeding chick

Australasian Coot

Australasian Coots (Fulica atra) are a waterfowl in the rail family that self introduced to New Zealand from Australia.

New Zealand Scaup

Aythya novaeseelandiae / New Zealand Scaup

New Zealand Scaup are a small black and brown duck endemic to New Zealand, found throughout the country.

Banded Dotterel

Banded Dotterel/tūturiwhatu (Charadrius bicinctus ssp. bicinctus)

Banded Dotterels tūturiwhatu (Charadrius bicinctus ssp. bicinctus) are a medium sized shore bird that nests on beaches and braided riverbeds throughout New Zealand.


Bellbird (Korimako)

Bellbirds are a medium sized, mainly nectar eating bird endemic to New Zealand, with a distinctive melodic call which gives them their name.

Juvenile and adult Black backed gulls at Rarangi

Black Backed Gull (Karoro)

The Black Backed Gull or Karoro is New Zealand's largest gull species, found throughout the country from coastal to sub-alpine habitats where there is no forest cover.

Black swan nesting at Taylor Dam

Black Swan

Black swans are a large aquatic bird found in fresh water lakes and estuaries around Marlborough.

Fantail in Wither Hills Farm Park

Fantail (piwakawaka)

Fantails (piwakawaka) are a small, common, insectivorous bird endemic to New Zealand.

Variable oystercatchers in Umungata Bay

Haematopus unicolor, Tōrea Pango / Variable Oystercatcher

Variable oystercatchers are a medium sized shore bird common throughout New Zealand, commonly seen in estuarine environments where they feed on shellfish, crabs, and worms.

Hutton's Shearwater

A medium sized shearwater which breeds only in Marlborough.

King Shag

The King Shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus) is a large endemic shag found in the Marlborough Sounds


New Zealand pigeon (kerurū)

Kerurū are one of two endemic pigeon species, found throughout the country particularly in areas of native forest.

Paradise Ducks

Paradise Shelduck/pūtangitangi

Paradise Shelduck/pūtangitangi are a common, large duck endemic to New Zealand, found throughout the country.

Pied Shag at Wairau Diversion

Pied Shag

Pied shags (Phalacrocorax varius) are a large member of the cormorant family found in coastal areas of NZ.

Pied Stilt

Pied Stilt

Pied stilts (Himantopus himantopus) are a long legged wading bird found natively throughout Australasia.

NZ Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), pīhoihoi

Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae)

New Zealnd Pipits or pīhoihoi are a small endemic song bird of open pasture lands.

Pakahā / Fluttering Shearwater (Puffinus gavia)

Pakahā / Fluttering Shearwater (Puffinus gavia)

Fluttering Shearwater are a small to medium migratory seabird native to New Zealand, also spending time in Australia and the Solomon Islands.

Pukeko at Taylor Dam


Pukeko are a large, common rail species found throughout New Zealand, common around wetlands.

Red billed gull at Marfells Beach

Red Billed Gull

Red billed gulls are a common native sea bird found throughout Marlborough.

Royal Spoonbill

Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)

Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) are the only spoonbill species to breed in New Zealand, where they have self-introduced from Australia.

Kingfisher (Kōtare) near Taylor Dam

Sacred kingfisher/Kōtare (Todiramphus sanctus)

The sacred kingfisher or Kōtare (Todiramphus sanctus ssp. vagans) is a distinctive New Zealand native bird found throughout the country wherever they can find suitable prey.



Silvereyes are one of New Zealand's commonest and most widespread birds, self-introducing in the mid 19th Century.

Bush Robin in Ferny Gair Conservation Area

South Island robin / Toutouwai

South Island robin / Toutouwai (Petroica australis) are a small bird of forest and scrub country of the South Island.

Spur Winged Plovers

Spur-Winged Plover

Spur-Winged Plovers are an Australian wading bird species that self-introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th Century.

Tui feeding on flax (harakeke) at Robin Hood Bay


Tui are one of New Zealand's more commonly seen endemic bird species. They can be seen in various locations around Marlborough.

Weka at Cullen Point

Weka (Gallirallus australis)

Weka are a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand, found on all main islands.

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron

White-faced herons are New Zealand's commonest heron species, self-introducing during the 1940s, and found throughout the country.