Mangawhai Lodge - stylish bed and breakfast, self-contained apartments
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Bird watching in Mangawhai New Zealand


Mangawhai attracts a wide range of New Zealand bird species, and is home to the New Zealand Fairy Tern (Tara iti)- New Zealand's rarest endemic bird.   Mangawhai lodge is an ideal destination for bird watching in New Zealand   We cater for individuals, couples or birding groups- please contact us for prices.

The Bird Refuge, estuarine harbour, shoreline and sandspit of Mangawhai provide a rich source of food for shorebirds. Mangawhai is the home of seven threatened and four "at risk" shorebirds species and the premier breeding site for the NZ Fairy Tern and NZ Northern Dotterel. (Dr John Dowding - renowned bird researcher). 

Stay at Mangawhai lodge to view a wide range of New Zealand bird life, both bush and shorebird species.  A wide range of birds breed and inhabit the Mangawhai Coast with several other breeding sites within 1-2 hours drive enabling birders to view a wide range of rare bird species.

The Caspian Tern, The Northern New Zealand Dotterel, Banded Dotterel, Variable Oystercatcher, South Island Oyster Catcher are common to the Mangawhai area, most breed in the early summer months.

Turnstones and Godwits migrate from Alaska and Siberia arriving late September and leave in late March and early April.   A Black Shag colony breed and live in a tree at the far end of the famous Mangawhai Cliff Top Walkway.

Birds commonly seen around Mangawhai Lodge include:

The Tui - a nectar feeding bird, which perches on the top branch of the nearby Norfolk Pine.

The Kingfisher, Silver eye and Fantails are some of the native birds which visit us regularly.

The New Zealand Fairy Tern

Visit below clip to view birds.  The Fairy Terns start nesting in early November. The Fairy Terns can still be seen feeding around the harbour in February.

This Fairy Tern nests in 3 areas North of Auckland with Mangawhai being the largest site.

The New Zealand Fairy Tern is New Zealand's most endangered bird.

Fairy Tern can live for up to 16 years, they starts breeding from 2-3 years of age.  They differ from the New Caladonian and Australian Fairy Terns in that they breed in solo pairs, not in colonies.   Introduced predators, easterly storms, cyclones and disturbances during the breeding season by beach users have all impacted on the birds ability to breed successfully.

In the early 1980's  the number of New Zealand Fairy Terns (Taraiti) dropped to 3 breeding pairs.  Through monitoring and capture of predators by the Dept of Conservation staff and volunteers the numbers have increased to 39 birds (April 14).  The New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust was formed to assist Fairy Tern Birds survive and prosper.  We are happy to put you in touch with the NZ Fairy Tern Charitable Trust.