Bird identification 

Some references you may want to try

NZ Birds Online website

Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand.Heather B, Robertson H. 2005. Viking.

Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. In association with the Ornithological Society of New Zealand. Te Papa Press.
Buy Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand from Te Papa Store

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Banded birds

If the bird is banded, please read our banded bird pages.

You can report found banded birds to the Department of Conservation through these pages.

If you contact DOC with a report about a banded bird, a letter will be sent acknowledging receipt and providing the banding history of the bird from DOC, where banding records are kept.

Even if the band says National Museum, we don’t normally need the band or the specimen itself returned to us.

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Send us a description and measurements

If the bird is not banded, and you couldn't identify it with standard library reference or field guides, you are welcome to contact us.

Please send us:

  • A detailed description of the bird
  • Its measurements
  • One or several photographs
  • If the bird is dead, possible cause of death
  • type of fishing vessel you were in (if applicable)

If we are not able to identify it with all of the above, we may need to examine the bird at the Museum.

How to send specimens in

  • Freeze your specimen
  • Notify us before sending it
  • Send it adequately packed, by a fast delivery service (e.g. courier)

Specimens sent for identification can’t be returned. 


Bird Team
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
169 Tory Street / PO Box 467
Wellington 6140

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