Day 144 on the Road
Seeing New Zealand Birds Up Close
Today we are checking out the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary – a free activity in Te Anau! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand, join our backpacker squad on YouTube.
So today we are getting close up to some New Zealand native birds.
Today we are doing one of the awesome free things to do in Te Anau which is the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary and before we even get to the sanctuary we’re already seeing some native birds in the trees around Lake Te Anau.
We are taking the very short 10 minute Te Anau Walkway which basically follows the lake shore and takes us from the Fiordland National Park Centre which is where you get all the information about the area, to the bird sanctuary.
So just behind me is a statue of Quentin McKinnon which was a surveyor in the 1800s and he was the first guy that actually made his way through land from Te Anau all the way down to Milford Sound. So basically, he’s the one that created the Milford Track the world famous hiking trail. Because the Milford Track now follows his very route between Te Anau to Milford Sound. So that guy.
We do get distracted quite a lot along the way by both statues signs and also by beautiful Lake Te Anau which is actually the largest lake in the South Island. The views are amazing and we just can’t help but spend some time in this amazing environment at the end of the jetty. We are looking at the marvelous lake around us with its deep dark waters and we’re having a look for eels underneath the jetty as well.
And then we head straight back on the walkway to make our way to the bird sanctuary.
The Te Anaue Bird Sanctuary has somewhat very funny opening hours. It’s only states that it’s open from dawn to dusk, so turns out that we arrive right on time to the bird sanctuary is already opened.
The first thing that greets us is huge amount of ducks. I mean there is all kinds of ducks there is a nursery there are some ponds there are some ducks which are free there are some ducks which are between enclosure and we are straight away almost attacked by a bunch of ducklings.
Those ducklings are so cute and there’s really a huge array of species of ducks here there’s the introduced ones like the mallard ducks and the Canadian geese but we also get the chance to see the paradise shelduck which is a native duck here in New Zealand.
Although we are not feeding the ducks they are really getting up in our grill but next we are moving onto kaka enclosure.
The South Island kaka are very interesting birds they are nationally vulnerable and they have kept a lot of their primitive features because they have lived a lot of their life separated from all the other bird species because they live in very remote places on the South island.
These kaka are being kept here as part of breeding programs so that they can release species of kaka back into the wild and boost the populations. And that’s why many of the birds are kept here at the Te Anau Wildlife Sanctuary as well as injured birds as well that get released back into the wild once they have been rehabilitated.
This place is absolutely awesome. It’s really great to see a conservation program right in action. Those birds and fathers and mothers of most of the native birds released by the Department of Conservation here in New Zealand, it’s really cool.
Next up we are moving to another species of native parrot here in New Zealand which is the parakeet or kakariki which means green parrot in Maori. I’ll let you guess why.
there are five different species of parakeet which you can tell by the colours of the crowns on their heads. But we are learning far more about the parakeet from a volunteer Department of Conservation worker who is feeding the parakeet right now. She’s telling us about the life cycle of the parakeet and actually showing us to one of the more species of birds in a nearby enclosure.
I am so stoked to learn that they have a dwarf owl called a morepork. This is one of the rarest birds you can find in New Zealand and probably my favourite one we hear them all the time at night but we never get to see them.
We move on pretty quickly from the enclosure because we do not want to disturb this nocturnal bird and we are now on the hunt for takahe. At first it’s pretty hard to spot them because they are really well hidden. In fact, this bird is actually very rare in New Zealand. They only have 347 of them.
There are so few of them that they were thought to be extinct and were rediscovered in 1948.
The takahe are super fascinating they look totally prehistoric with their blue feathers, red face, and large bodies and they’re actually flightless birds as well. They are only found naturally in the Fiordland National Park. And the Fiordland National Park is something we’re gonna learn more about tonight at the Fiordland Cinema back in Te Anau. It’s only about $10 to watch this 30-minute film about Fiordland National Park.
And also there’s loads of different ducks that are just keen to get all up in your grill i don’t really know what to say they just they just get close to you and they don’t care they get intimate and you’re like I don’t really feel the same way, duck. Get away. It’s not you it’s me.