Birds you can see at the Sanctuary


Takahē are the stars of the show at Punanga Manu o Te Anau and meeting these prehistoric-looking characters is a ‘must do’ for Fiordland visitors. The Te Anau Bird Sanctuary’s takahē pairs support the Takahē Recovery Programme by raising chicks which are released into predator controlled wild homes at around one year of age.


Kākā are related to the rarer kea or mountain parrot. They are absent from many New Zealand forests due to predation and competition from introduced pests.

The sanctuary supports the South Island kākā recovery programme. Birds bred here are released into predator-controlled areas to help re-establish wild populations.

More about kākā.

Antipodes Island parakeets

Antipodes Island parakeets are not native to mainland New Zealand and found here only in captivity.

Our parakeets are part of a very small ‘insurance’ population which was established in case harm befell the isolated wild population.

Ruru koukou/morepork

Ruru koukou are small owls with rounded wings perfectly adapted to forest hunting. They’re found in most New Zealand native and plantation forests.

Our ruru is an injured bird that never recovered well enough to be returned to the wild.

More about ruru koukou/morepork.

Other birds you might see

The abundance of birdlife makes Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary the perfect place for practicing wildlife photography. If you can’t see many birds during your visit, look out for kārearea, the beautiful and rare native falcon who may be paying the sanctuary residents an unwelcome visit.

The birds held in aviaries here have either been injured and cannot survive in the wild, or they are involved in captive rearing programmes. The injured birds are rehabilitated and if possible, released back into the wild.