This page has been set up as a bit of a fun way of ‘challenging’ each other. Many birders keep a list of species they see, and this page is designed along the lines of the list run by Tony Palliser in Australia and the various listings including the SA 700 Club run by Zest for Birds in South Africa. Anyone can submit a list total by emailing Brent Stephenson. Even if you feel you have a small list, submit it anyway.
The initiation of a 200 Club has occurred, with those birders who have supplied a list of 200 species for New Zealand being included. A list of 200 species in New Zealand is a great target for birders to aim at, and takes a fair bit of time to achieve. With the recent increase in people submitting lists, we now have a staggering total for New Zealand of 290 species, set by Steve Wood. Steve just took the crown back off Brent in early 2016, and then added another few great birds during a trip to the Kermadecs in April 2016, widening the gap! Colin Miskelly is not yet out of the race, and hot on his heels is Sav Saville, Phil Hammond and Igor Debski. All have overtaken Brian Bell, who for a long-time headed the list with a list of 263 that seemed so far out of our reach. Many New Zealand and overseas birders will know of Brian and his impressive lifetimes work with New Zealand birds, and we are saddened by his passing in late 2016. With the year all but over a flurry of vagrants including a Wilson’s phalarope, NZ’s first laughing gull, and an Asiatic dowitcher have all sent birders scurrying around the land! There have been several revisions of the New Zealand list we use, and likely to be a seemingly widely accepted split of the Stewart Island shag in the next month or so. Birders in the 200 Club are shown in bold in the list below and have an * beside their name.
With the advent of books such as ‘The Big Year’ by Mark Obmascik, year listing has become a more popular birding phenomenon. So we have started a set of ‘Year listing’ tables as well. Hopefully this will gain momentum amongst both NZ and oversea birders, although there seems to be less interest in this. Currently the total of 220 species seen by Brent in 2015 stands as the current year list record.
Revised list now available as of April 2017
In keeping with the release of the long awaited fourth edition of the Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica we have revised our ‘Official’ list. As per the rules below we only include New Zealand and species found within its political territories. NEW APRIL 2017 – feral introductions that have caused much consternation, wailing and gnashing of teeth over the last few years have now been removed. No more feral chooks!
- The Checklist to be used in this exercise is “The ‘Official’ New Zealand Birders checklist”. The list can be downloaded as a PDF version here.
- The geographical boundary for the list is defined as mainland New Zealand, offshore islands (all sub-antarctics and Chathams, not including Macquarie Island or Norfolk Island), its territories or anywhere within the 200 NM limit.
- All species counted should be seen alive and in the wild (island populations are countable including all species on Tiritiri Matangi, Kapiti Island, Ulva Island, etc.). Beachcast birds, as long as they are still alive, are countable.
- Birds must be seen, hearing calls or song of a species does not count.
- Submissions should be honest, accurate and dated. Any entries for species not currently on the New Zealand checklist must be verified by the Rare/Unusual Birds Committee of the OSNZ.
- Entries shall not be made without permission from the owner.
The ‘Official’ New Zealand Birders checklist can be downloaded here as a formatted PDF ‘checklist’. This list is also available in other formats, please email Brent. This list is bound to stimulate some discussion, so forward your comments and criticisms to us by email.
This checklist is for personal use, please do not use it commercially or post on any other website. If you would like to do so, then please contact us first.
New Zealand Birders’ totals list
Based on NZ’s political boundaries and outlined in “The ‘Official’ New Zealand Birders checklist”
* beside the persons name in the table above signifies they are members of the 200 Club
There’s plenty of room so email your submissions in…
New Zealand Birders’ ‘Mainland’ totals list
Mainland New Zealand only (and ‘close’ offshore islands) to within 12 nautical miles
There’s plenty of room so email your submissions in…
2016 New Zealand Year Listing
2015 New Zealand Year Listing
2014 New Zealand Year Listing – NEW NEW ZEALAND YEAR LIST RECORD
2013 New Zealand Year Listing
2009 New Zealand Year Listing
2008 New Zealand Year Listing
2006 New Zealand Year Listing
2005 New Zealand Year Listing
2004 New Zealand Year Listing
NB. the totals in this list may vary as a slightly older version of checklist was used during the 2004 year list.
History of “The ‘Official’ New Zealand Birders checklist”
Version 3.3 (current version)
Released on 07/04/17 with just a single non-coloured version released
- Removal of feral introductions from the list, including golden pheasant, red-legged and grey partridge, helmeted guineafowl, feral chicken, northern bobwhite, and red-vented bulbul.
- Splitting Stewart Island shag into Otago shag and Foveaux shag based on recent research.
Released on 07/01/17 with just a single non-coloured version released
- Change of status of Australian wood duck from Vagrant non-breeder to Rare Native following breeding near Nelson in 2015/2016.
- Addition of dusky woodswallow (Sept 2014), red-footed booby (Mar/Apr 2016), and laughing gull (Dec 2016) following first records of these birds in New Zealand.
Future splits to come in next version
- Split of Stewart Island shag into Foveaux shag and Otago shag based on published information
Released in Aug 2015
- Addition of buff-breasted sandpiper
Released on 19/03/14 with just a single non-coloured version released
- Major overhaul of taxonomy and species list. Generally follows ‘Birds of New Zealand: A photographic guide’ by Scofield and Stephenson 2013, but with some additional that do not currently appear in that text.
Released on 20/10/10 – both coloured and non-coloured versions released
- Addition of straw-necked ibis
- For barn owl change of colour to Native (pink) in colour version and change Nb to Na in both versions
Released on 29/09/10 – non-coloured version also released
- Ringed plover and Brolga removed
- Antipodean and Gibson’s albatross lumped as New Zealand albatross
- Buller’s and Pacific albatross lumped as Buller’s albatross
- New Zealand storm-petrel changed to Pealeornis maoriana
- Spelling of Moseley’s rockhopper penguin corrected
- Spelling of chukar corrected
- Status of barn owl changed to Native
- Split tomtit into North Island and South Island tomtit
- Split robins into North Island and South Island robin
- Split saddlebacks into North Island and South Island saddleback
Released on 02/04/05 – non-coloured version also released
- Border around ‘Northern pintail’ removed
- ‘ Status’ colour coding changed
- Extra ‘Status’ column added to include information on whether the species is endemic (En), native (Na), introduced (In), or a non-breeding migrant/straggler/vagrant (Nb)
- Addition of two extinct species – Stead’s bush wren and Iredale’s (Stewart Island) snipe – due to one Lister having seen these species before their extinction
- Mention made in the text at the start of the list that birds must be seen to be included. Birds cannot be included if only heard
- Tentative inclusion of Australian reed warbler on the list pending acceptance by the OSNZ RBC
- Changed Gould’s petrel, P. leucoptera, to New Caledonian petrel, P. caledonica, as records in New Zealand almost certainly represent that species
- Black-fronted tern genus changed from Chlidonias to Sterna
- Red-crowned parakeet changed to endemic following specific separation of New Caledonian and Norfolk Island populations from New Zealand mainland populations
- Addition of Hochstetter’s parakeet, C. hochstetteri, as above
- Split red-billed gull, L. scopulinus, from silver gull, L. novaehollandiae, and therefore relegated to endemic
- Golden pheasant added to the list – feral population breeding on Aroha Island
Released on 23/02/05