The secret to all this diversity is the wide variety of habitats to be found in the 9000 hectare wetland complex.
Large areas of mudflats along the eastern shoreline of Lake Wairarapa provide valuable feeding, roosting and breeding habitat for dozens of species of waders and other shorebirds.
Secluded and densely-vegetated lagoons such as Boggy Pond and Matthews Lagoon provide breeding and moulting sites for a range of ducks, shags and other waterfowl.
Thick raupo beds create a haven for rare and seldom-seen wetland birds such as Australasian bittern and spotless crake. Nearby open grasslands support large numbers of conspicuous introduced species, including finches, starlings and magpies.
Willow and alder thickets, gradually being replaced with new areas of native plantings, attract good numbers of native forest birds such as grey warblers, fantails and silvereyes.
Wairarapa Moana serves as both a domestic and international arrivals terminal for a range of migratory bird species. Some species, such as banded dotterels and black-billed gulls, arrive at Lake Wairarapa following “domestic” flights from their breeding grounds on nearby rivers in the Wairarapa and further afield. Other species are truly international, long-haul champions.
The bar-tailed godwit arrives each year towards the end of September following a 12,000 km non-stop flight from Alaska – one of the longest-distance non-stop flights carried out by any bird species anywhere in the world.
Sharp-tailed and pectoral sandpipers arrive somewhat later. They have travelled a series of shorter-distance flights from their breeding grounds in the Russian far-east & Alaska. Their stop-overs are at estuaries in East Asia.
Read about a selection of birds in the Feature Birds page. Here you will find some information on several of the more significant bird species to be found in the Wairarapa Moana environment, including where to find them.
There are many other native birds that live and visit the Wairarapa Moana area. All the species that have been recorded can be read in this Complete List of Wairarapa Moana Birds (PDF, 61 KB).
General information about all the birds described and listed can be found on the superb New Zealand Birds Online website.
Websites with further information
Department of Conservation, Birds http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/birds/
NatureWatch NZ: A community for naturalists http://naturewatch.org.nz/
New Zealand eBird http://ebird.org/content/newzealand/
New Zealand Birds Online: The digital encyclopaedia of New Zealand birds http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/
New Zealand Birds, Nga Manu o Aotearoa http://www.nzbirds.com/
What bird? Ko tehea manu http://www.whatbird.co.nz/
Content on this page was last updated: 14/02/2017 11:40am