The Birds of Ulva Island
We have an occasional
blog recording our
observations of the natural world of Stewart Island through the
Evening Bird Song
I use an Edirol R-09HR for field recordings.
In time I hope to build a library of the various songs and
phrases we hear. You will find these on the appropriate birds
pages, with a short explanatory note as to the circumstances.
The recordings will be in MP3 format. But the original
recordings are .wav, sampled at 24bit/96khz.
The story of the Ulva Island
Sanctuary probably starts with the efforts of
Charles Traill, the first Postmaster, who persuaded the
Government of the day to have the Island declared a reserve over
100 years ago. Ulva became a "destination" for early tourists,
partly because of its Island situation and virgin forest and
partly because of it's "Southern-most Post Office" status.
Stewart Island forest by then would have been quite
significantly logged within the area around the village and for
some distance to the west.
Rats and later White-tailed deer were early invaders of both
Ulva and Stewart Island and over the years had a significant
effect on forest ecosystems.
The deer problem on Ulva was addressed by NZ Forest Service as early as
1969/70 with a hand poisoning program, which was ultimately
successful after some 4 or 5 years work. This resulted in
significant regeneration of palatable species
Department of Conservation took over management of Stewart
Island from the old Lands & Survey Dept and NZ Forest Service in
the '80's and initiated a hand eradication program aimed at
rats on Ulva in the '90's. This probably took only 9 months work
although it was another 4 years before the Island was declared
rat free and threatened/endangered species liberation could
Today Ulva Island is a foundation member of a group of animal
free sanctuaries and is perhaps the closest to pristine of any
area of new Zealand open to the public. The response of Ulva
Island to it's animal free state is best illustrated by a
comparative walk through forest on Stewart Island, followed by
time on Ulva.
Birds we have seen on the way to and while ashore on
(in no particular order)
Click on the
underlined birds names for
details on each bird.
In time we hope to have bird song and photos for most, if not
There are many excellent birding books available but in
particular I have used the Readers Digest Complete Book of New
Zealand Birds (ISBN 0 949819 62 X) to supplement my own
observations. . Long out of print and coffee table size it is
often found in second hand book shops at around $50.
For further reference books look on our
As well as our own blog I have been honored to be
accepted as a contributor to "Focusing
on Wildlife". There you will find articles
from contributors world wide... an excellent resource
celebrating the natural diversity this planet hosts.
, past guests with us to Ulva.
I would never count myself a twitcher, rather someone who is
interested in the
. But of course New Zealand is a world
where birds are the dominant.... virtually the only..... large
indigenous fauna and both Iris & I spend a significant amount of
time just watching our feathered friends, and gain a lot of
enjoyment from this.
And as a lot of our avian species are migratory we are always
interested in other places and their birds, and it was while
following up on migratory birds I came across
. Which I have to say interested and
impressed us enormously. We strongly reccomment birders
including it as a must visit site.