What bird is that?

Birds of Russell – New Zealand Holiday Park to four of New Zealand’s endangered and rarest birds

Russell – Orongo Bay Holiday Park is home to four of New Zealand’s rarest birds, the North Island Brown kiwi, the North Island weka, fern birds and the brown teal. At night you will hear the calls of kiwi, weka, moreporks, during your stay with us.

Birds which live in or frequent the Park also include Rosellas, pukeko, piwakawaka, kereru, tui,tauhou, kotare, riroriro, miromiro, spur winged plovers, goldfinch, heron, pheasant, mallard and grey duck, brown and california quail.


Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

wildlife Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park

Nectar is the normal diet but fruit and insects are frequently eaten, and pollen and seeds more occasionally. They are the main pollinators of flax, kowhai, kaka beak and some other plants.

Piwakawaka or New Zealand Fantail

Rhipidura fuliginosa

wildlife Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park

Is a small insectivorous bird. During waking hours the bird is almost never still. It flits from perch to perch, sometimes on the ground but mostly on the twigs of a tree or any other convenient object, looking out for flying insects. The birds are not shy, and will often flit within a few metres of people, especially in forested areas and suburban gardens.

Kereru or New Zealand Pigeon

Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae

wildlife Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park

Primarily eating fruits from native trees. they play an important ecological role, as they are the only birds capable of eating the largest native fruits & drupes. While fruit comprises the major part of their diets, the New Zealand Pigeon also browses on leaves and buds, especially nitrogen rich foliage during breeding.

North Island brown kiwi

Apteryx mantelli or Apteryx australis

On average only five percent of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood. However, in areas under active pest management, survival rates for North Island brown kiwi can be far higher.

Weka or woodhen

Gallirallus australis

View the Weka at Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday Park and amongst the native bush in the area.

Weka are sturdy brown birds, about the size of a chicken. As omnivores, they feed mainly on invertebrates and fruit.Where the Weka is relatively common, their furtive curiosity leads them to search around houses and camps for food scraps, or anything unfamiliar and transportable.

Kotare or Sacred Kingfisher

Todiramphus sanctus

Keep an eye out for the sacred kingfisher bird in Russell. The medium sized bird can be spotted amongst the mangroves, woodlands and forests around Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday park

Feeds on insects, small crustaceans, fish, small rodents and reptiles, and there are a few reports of them eating small finches.

Pukeko or Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio

The pukeko is a large, conspicious rail bird, with the head, breast and throat a deep blue/violet colour. Try and spot one on any of the amazing tracks around Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday Park

Pukeko nest, typically well hidden in the middle of a clump of raupo, in the wetlands area adjacent to the park.

Pateke or BrownTeal

Anas chlorotis

Try and spot a brown teal (pateke) throughout lowland freshwater wetlands that can be found near Russell. This dabbling duck species is endemic to New Zealand.

Is a small dabbling duck species which was once widespread throughout New Zealand but is now rare and restricted to Great Barrier Island and coastal valleys of eastern Northland.

Kotata or Matata or Fernbird

Bowdleria punctata

have you seen a Fernbird? These birds inhabit wetlands throughout New Zealand but are hard to see due to their secretive behaviour and excellent camouflage. Keep a close eye out when tracking through Russell and you could be lucky!

The Fernbird is a insectivorous ground-dwelling bird, and is a reluctant flier, travelling mainly on foot or in occasional short flights of less than 15 metres.

Silvereye or Wax-eye

Zosterops lateralis

This beautiful and friendly olive green forest bird has been spotted by hikers around Russell - Look out for the white rings around its eyes. Russell -Orongo bay holiday park

Silvereyes breed in spring and early summer (mainly between September and December), making a tiny cup of grass, moss, hair, spiderweb, and thistledown, suspended from a small tree or shrub, and laying 2 to 4 pale blue eggs.