The website New Zealand Birds Online is a collaborative project between Te Papa, Birds New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. It was launched in June 2013, and use of the site has continued to grow since, with just over 1,900 visits to the site per day at present. The milestone of 1,000,000 visits to the site was reached on 26 November 2015.
The original site contained 457 species pages written by 111 authors, and 6592 images from 256 photographers, plus more than 1100 sound files and 1783 book extracts. Content continues to be added, including 354 extracts from the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds in November 2013, and 2274 further images (total = 8866), including from 121 additional photographers. That is an average of about 2.5 images added every day since the launch.
An additional 14 species pages have been added to the site since the launch, reflecting evolving knowledge of the birds of New Zealand. These new pages include:
- Three vagrant species newly confirmed as reaching New Zealand (buff-breasted sandpiper, dusky woodswallow and magpie-lark)
- Four newly-described fossil species (St Bathans kiwi, Love’s Paleocene seabird, Bartle’s bittern and New Zealand lake wanderer)
- Three newly-described recently extinct species from the Chatham Islands (Chatham Island merganser, Imber’s petrel and Chatham Island kaka)
- Four introduced species occasionally encountered in the wild in New Zealand, but not regarded as having established populations here (red-legged partridge, rainbow lorikeet, rose-ringed parakeet and red-vented bulbul)
About 69% of the users of the site have been first-time visitors (694,780 different users), with 31% being returning visitors. The majority of users have been from New Zealand (72%) followed by the United States (8.5%), Australia (4.7%) and the United Kingdom (3.6%). But we have had visits from 227 countries, including single visits from Burkino Faso, Burundi, St Barthélemy, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Comoros, North Korea, Montserrat, Republic of Congo and San Marino!
Visitors view an average of just over 3 pages per visit (3,086,678 page views). The tui continues to be the most viewed species, well ahead of fantail, morepork, pukeko and bellbird (in that order).
With grateful thanks to the more than 400 people who have contributed to New Zealand Birds Online – it is their industry, effort and goodwill that has provided the content that has generated 1,000,000+ hits. Thanks also to Te Papa, Birds New Zealand and the Department of Conservation for their ongoing support.
For further information on New Zealand Birds Online, see: