Catlins Birds

The Catlins region of Southern New Zealand is an excellent birding destination for native and introduced forest, wading and marine species.

Rare bird species in The Catlins include the yellow eyed penguin (hoiho), yellowhead (mohua) and native falcon (karearea).

There are over fourteen sites where hoiho breed in The Catlins and two of these sites, at Nuggget Point and Curio Bay, are easily accessible for viewing the birds as they go to sea in the morning or return in the evening.

Mohua are a threatened species of forest bird found only in the Southern South Island. Their Catlins population is one of the healthiest left due to a combination of  factors, including the special nature of the Catlins beech forest as well as the Department of Conservation's introduced predator control programme.

Mohua may be seen along the Catlins River Track - a day walk from adjacent accommodation at Catlins Mohua Park or Tawanui camping ground.

The work to control introduced predators in The Catlins beech forest has increased all bird numbers and the rare karearea, a natural predator has made a come-back.

The karearea may be seen in the upper Catlins River Valley in and around the beech forest and at Mohua Park.

For a bird list for The Catlins see and for more information email

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