Great Barrier Island is home to many birds that are not seen on the mainland. Protection of these treasures is a priority for the trust and its members. This may mean dedicated programmes or the control of rats and cats in areas of their habitat in collaboration
Great Barrier is home to a significant permanent and larger transient population of North Island kaka, as anyone with fruit trees on the island knows. Nesting kaka are vulnerable to stoats and possums on the mainland but these are not present on GBI. Kaka calls and whistling song is a feature of life on the Barrier.
A small remnant population of red crowned parakeets or käkäriki are hanging on in the Okiwi valley and around Hirakimata. Kakariki have responded well breeding on Motuhaku (Wellington Head) following the eradication of rats there. These beautiful birds travel in small flocks chattering distinctively as they pass.
The east coast beaches of the Barrier are home to about 50 New Zealand Dotterel which are nationally vulnerable. Beach care groups protect nest sites at the height of summer but breeding is difficult for these birds, with high seas, gulls, rats and cats all responsible for loss of eggs and chicks.
Barrier people are well acquainted with these normally shy birds, which are abundant in many settlements on the island.
GBI is a stronghold for kereru and they are a frequent sight on bush fringes around the island.
North Island Robin
Robins have been reintroduced to Aotea within Glenfern Sanctuary and Little Windy Hill Sanctuary. Birds have moved outside these areas and are believed to be breeding on Hirakimata.
Some tomtits are believed to be hanging on on Hirkimata and can sometimes be seen from the Windy Canyon track.