Bush and Freshwater Birds around Leigh

Leigh and its surrounding area has good numbers of bush and freshwater birds. Here we mention the more common ones.

Kaka, large native parrots are often seen flying very high at dawn or dusk. Like all parrots they squawk very loudly. They are resident on Little Barrier Island and fly between the island and the mainland. Eastern rosellas are beautiful parrots that range in colours of red, blue, yellow, black, white and green. They commonly fly in flocks of up to a dozen or so.

Morepork are more often heard than seen. They are small owls that hunt at night. North Island brown kiwi have been reintroduced to the Tawharanui Regional Park. Although these birds are nocturnal, occasionally they can be seen during the day.

Bellbirds are the most musical birds and will often be heard before they are seen. They fly to the mainland from Little Barrier Island and are now regularly seen at Leigh and Tawharanui.

Tui are very common bush birds with beautiful songs. They are one of the most dominant birds and feed on kowhai, pohutukawa, flax and the nectar of other flowers. They make a range of noises and have a white throat tuft.

Kookaburra, large kingfishers were introduced to Kawau Island from Australia. They have spread and are often seen on power lines between Leigh and Warkworth. New Zealand kingfishers are bright blue and sit on a line or branch watching for food, then dart down to catch their prey.

Native pigeons are very large birds that glow a mix of colours when lit by the sun. They are green above and white below. They feed on berries and are quite common.
Pukeko, also known as swamp hens, are blue and black and feed alongside roads. They fly untidily with their legs dangling. They are very common at Tawharanui.

Welcome swallows were self-introduced from Australia. They often sit in flocks of up to a dozen on powerlines and have distinctively pointed wings. Silvereyes are pretty little greenish birds that flit about between the trees as they feed, often in flocks.

Fantails are small brown birds with distinctive fan-like tails. The tail aids them in fluttering around and feeding on insects.

New Zealand pipits are small brown birds that feed along the cliff at Goat Island.  They spend most of their time on the ground and when standing still flick their tails.

Spur-winged plovers are distinctive with a bright yellow mask on their faces. They prefer grassed areas, where they feed on invertebrates. Good places to see them include Whangateau and Tawharanui.

Mallard Ducks are common at Goat Island and Matheson Bay especially around the streams. Males have emerald green heads, yellow bills and a white ring around their neck. Females are brown all over with some purple patches amongst their feathers. Paradise ducks are distinguished by their white heads (female) and black heads (male) and are at Tawharanui, Whangateau, Goat Island and other areas.

For coastal birds, see Birds around the Leigh Coast

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