Posts categorized as Birds

Making sense of snarge

Snarge identified as long tailed skua. Photo by Alan Tennyson.

Birds can cause serious damage to aircraft. A recent example is the 2009 US Airways flight that hit a flock of Canada geese on take-off and had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. In this case no one was seriously injured but there are many examples of fatalities caused by bird strikes…. Read more »

For the love of birds

NZ Birds Online screenshot - Tiny forest birds

We have recently launched NZ Birds Online, an encyclopaedia of New Zealand birds. I have been involved in this project for 18 months, from the IT side of things, and it’s been an absolute pleasure all along! I’m an identification geek (among other geekily obsessions). If I have taken a photo of a fern, or… Read more »

Crazy about kākā? We have the website for you!

  • Kakapo. Adult male (Sirocco). Maud Island, 2007. Image © Dylan van Winkel by Dylan van Winkel
  • Spotted shag Philip Griffin
  • North Island saddleback Philip Griffin
  • Male bellbird Peter Reese

Are you crazy about kākā? Smitten by stitchbirds? Wild about weka? NZ Birds Online is the website for you! Created in collaboration between Te Papa, DOC and OSNZ, NZ Birds Online is an online encyclopaedia of birds packed full of stunning pictures, detailed information and beautiful bird calls. Take a look at some of the… Read more »

Behind the scenes: A week in the life of a natural history curator

  • A wing being prepared by Catherine for incorporation into the collection.
  • Alan with a shearwater skeleton prepared by Catherine.
  • Alan looking through Te Papa's prion skin collection.
  • Alan and Trish looking at birds eggs in Te Papa's collection. Te Papa has recently improved their storage method of these fragile items.

What does a Te Papa curator do? I spent last week following Te Papa’s terrestrial vertebrate curator Alan Tennyson to find out. Here are some of the main highlights:  Visitors Monday saw Alan meet with Trish Nugent-Lyne, a collection manager at Whanganui Regional Museum. Te Papa staff are helping Trish prepare an articulated dog skeleton… Read more »

Solander: Kingdom of the Birds

  • Close up Buller's albatross, or mollymawk. Photo credit: Michael Hall © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Albatross at home on rough seas. Photo credit: Michael Hall © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Attaching logger to bird. Photo credit: Michael Hall © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • econd campsite in the colony. Photo credit: Michael Hall © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Steeped in history, Solander Island stands as a reminder of how beautiful it once was in this land which once was the kingdom of the birds. Monday 6 May Our party of 3 comprising Dr Dominique Filippi, Director Sextant Technology Ltd, Jean Claude Stahl (photographer scientist) and myself (Michael Hall) spend time readying for the… Read more »

How to DNA sex birds.

Sex chromosomes in birds and mammals.

The males and females of many bird species are difficult to distinguish by their appearance (peacocks are a notable exception). There are many situations where it is useful to know the sex of birds including captive breeding programmes, behavioural studies and even species delimitation in extinct taxa. DNA sexing provides a simple and quick way… Read more »