Orokonui’s is home to many species of manu/birds not found outside the fence in numbers. All Orokonui’s birds are wild so seeing them is always special. Visit in the morning for the best birding experience.


Kākā were first released into Orokonui in 2008. There are now more than 60 of these precious birds in our population. Follow this link to learn more about helping us count kākā

Kōkō / Tūī

Noisy kōkō make their presence known across the sanctuary. Look out for boisterous behaviour around feeding stations.

Korimako / Bellbird

The melodious calls of these beautiful songbirds can be heard throughout Orokonui.


Two takahē pairs call Orokonui home. Waimarie and Bennet roam the upper sanctuary.

Tokoeka / SI Brown Kiwi

A small population of endangered Haast tokoeka live in Orokonui. They are nocturnal and not seen during the day. Look out for probe holes they leave when feeding.


Kererū are the gardeners of the sanctuary spreading the seeds of the fruit they eat. Look out for noisy flocks in the upper sanctuary.

Kakaruai / SI Robin

These friendly and inquisitive birds will hop right up to visitors hoping for some bugs to be revealed. Keep an eye out on the forest tracks.

Mātātā / Fernbird

Listen out for the distinct calls and rustling sounds of these small birds. Most commonly seen around the grasslands and surrounding scrub.

Kārearea / NZ Falcon

Look up to get a glimpse of these speedsters hunting above the forest. Each year a pair chooses the safety of Orokonui to raise their chicks

Titipounamu / Rifleman

The smallest bird in Aotearoa/NZ can be hard to see so keep our eye out. Their high pitches zeet zeet calls often give them away.

Pīpipi / Brown Creeper

Listen out for the distinctive calls of these small birds as flocks move across the forest canopy. Although often seen and heard they are a challenge to photograph.

Pīwakawaka / Fantail

There are more than 20 te reo Māori names for these small flittery birds. Look out for rare black morphs in the forest.

Miromiro / Tomtit

These colourful robin relatives dart between trees looking for invertebrates to snack.

Riroriro / Grey Warbler

The second smallest bird in Aotearoa/NZ is more often heard rather than seen.

Tauhou / Silver Eye

The name of this bird means stranger which reflects its relatively recent arrival to Aotearoa/NZ.

Pūtakitaki / Paradise Shell Duck

Several pairs of these gorgeous ducks can be seen around the sanctuary.

Ruru / Morepork

These nocturnal hunters are rarely seen but are often heard around the sanctuary at night.

Pīpīwharauroa / Shining Cuckoo

Every year these brood parasites arrive from the tropics to lay their eggs in the nests or other birds.

Want to learn more about our other wildlife?

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