Location and getting there
Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and is an easy 10 minute walk from the Te Rua-o-te-Moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.
Open times and cost
The centre is open from dawn to dusk and can cater for guided tours if booked in advance through the Visitor Centre. Entry is free, but a gold coin donation is appreciated.
Birds you can see at the Sanctuary
The rare flightless takahē are the stars of the Bird Sanctuary and meeting these prehistoric-looking characters are a ‘must do’ for Fiordland visitors. For a special opportunity to observe these unique birds, join a DOC ranger as they feed them each morning. Check current feeding times.
Kākā is a beautiful native forest parrot. They have brown and green feathers with brilliant flashes of orange and scarlet under their wings.
Other birds you might see
You can also enjoy close up views of kererū (New Zealand pigeon) and tūī. There are ducks and geese in the waterfowl enclosure, including introduced mallard ducks and Canadian geese.
The birds held in aviaries here have either been injured and cannot survive in the wild, or they have been involved in captive rearing programmes. The injured birds are rehabilitated and if possible, released back into the wild when they are strong enough.
An added bonus for visitors is the variety of free-flying birds seen around the centre. Many are attracted by the food available from the native trees and shrubs that have been planted around the park. Native pigeons, tūī, silvereyes, grey warblers, starlings, tomtits, bellbirds and pied and black fantails appear from time to time, often feeding in the bush at the lake’s edge.
Small groups of greenfinches and chaffinches also visit at intervals, while both harriers and, less commonly, falcons make occasional appearances, attracted by other birds. As well as brown teal, mallard, grey and paradise ducks, you may see black-backed gulls, black-billed gulls, little shags and, occasionally, the rare crested grebe or the brillant blue of the kingfisher.