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Life on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Island is a Bird sanctuary in Auckland,s Hauraki Gulf. It is one and a half hours by Ferry from the Ports of Auckland Central Business District or 20 minutes from Gulf Harbour in the Whangaparoa Peninsula. Allow for an all day trip. You can stay overnight for an extra fee and you may even get to see the Kiwi bird at night.

I’ve been there several times although not recently. It’s well worth a visit and the birds are free from predators and are quite tame. So you need to make sure you take your own packed lunch and there is free tea and coffee in the visitors centre. When you arrive, make sure you have a sealed pack with you as these birds will eat your food and it’s not good for them. They have facilities to clean your footwear. Make sure you have good footwear as you are going on bush tracks and you are at least 2 hours or more on these tracks. You can go with a guide, well worth the money – a very small fee. You take 2 hours to get to the visitor’s centre .

Take your camera with you, it’s a must.

#2 New Zealand Takahe

A rare and endangered New Zealand bird. It is different from the New Zealand Pukako. It is flightless and vulnerable to predators. Tiritiri Island had a 19 year old Takahe called, “Greg” and although he passed on, I managed to get a photo of him. Perhaps another time. It likes foraging for roots.

4 points

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#3 The New Zealand Owl, The Morepork

It sleeps during the day, which is fortunate for the other birds during the day, because he will seek food. So the other birds will hide. It was here this day, under a Nikau Palm tree.

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#9 The Male Stitchbird

It’s waiting the opportunity to dive to get nectar or honey water from a feeder that the rangers put out. The birds flit in and out all the time. You are inside New Zealand bush here with a canopy of trees.

3 points

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#10 New Zealand Wood pigeon or Kereru

This one lives here and doesn’t mind it’s picture being taken today. It feeds off Puriri berries or other New Zealand berries. It also likes fruit. It is mainly vegetarian but may eat the odd bug. 

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Written by Pamela Moresby

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