Nelson’s native bird species bring a richness to our environment that is hard to quantify but valued by all. They play a vital role in the ecosystem as seed dispersers. The kereru, in particular, is the only bird able to swallow and spread the seed of our larger trees (like puriri and tawa). Without these 'gardeners of the sky,' our forests would not regenerate naturally. 

kereru peekaboo


Nelson is home to a range of native bird species, some of which are classified as endangered or threatened. Our work to restore habitat and control pests, as well as support for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary - a pest-proof haven on the outskirts of Nelson - aims to support species recovery and survival. You can help by planting bird-friendly native plants in your garden or on your property.

Forest and garden birds found in Nelson include:

The elusive South Island Kōkako was listed as extinct until 2013, when it was reclassified as 'data deficient' by the Department of Conservation. To find out more, or report a suspected sighting, go to the South Island Kokako webpage

For more information on forest habitats, visit our Halo page

Coastal birds in the Nelson region

 For information on coastal habitats, visit our Coast page

 Birds found in the Dun Mountain, Maitai and Roding water reserves include species now rare in the Nelson Region:

 Visit our Dun Mountain Page for more information