A team of keen birders recently participated in an 11-day trip to the remote Kermadec Islands, about 800 km north-east of mainland New Zealand. Several of the species they encountered are rarely seen or photographed – in New Zealand or anywhere. Trip organiser Scott Brooks has loaded more than 70 of his stunning images from the trip on to New Zealand Birds Online. Curator Vertebrates (and NZ Birds Online administrator) Colin Miskelly showcases the best of Scott’s Kermadec bird images.Read more

Finding a new bird species for their country of residence is the holy grail for many birdwatchers. Over the last decade, new species have been detected in New Zealand at an average rate of one every 15 months. The finding of two new bird species within 2 days by the same team of observers was unprecedented – but that is what happened.Read more

I spent yesterday afternoon in the fernery of Otari-Wilton’s Bush, examining two tree fern species from New Zealand’s subtropical Kermadec Islands. More details below, including ‘why?’. But first, a challenge… Each of these Kermadec tree ferns is closely related to a (different) mainland New Zealand species. Can you tell whichRead more

Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and I have just described a new species of fern, Lastreopsis kermadecensis.  It only occurs on Raoul Island, which is the largest island in the Kermadec Islands group.  Hence, the second part of the new species name! The Kermadec Islands are the most northernRead more