New Zealand is a haven for birds. Due to isolation and the lack of mammals, New Zealand bird species thrived. Around 71% of birds are endemic meaning they only existed in New Zealand. One-third were are also flightless and one-third nocturnal.
When Captain Cook first visited these shores, he noted that the bird son was deafening. Since that time, the introduction of mammals such as cats, stoats, rodents, and possums has made New Zealand a much more dangerous place for birds, especially flightless birds. While New Zealand still has a good number of notable birds, many other notable birds are now extinct.
Notable extinct birds included the beautiful Huia which came from a family so ancient that no relation is known to exist elsewhere. Haast's Eagle was the world's largest eagle and the most lethal aerial predator the world has ever seen. This bird fed on Moa another extinct New Zealand bird. It stood a whopping 3.6 m (12 ft) high with neck outstretched. It was the tallest bird in the world, but were hunted to extinction by the Maori. The demise of the Moa also led to the extinction of Haast's Eagle.
Notable birds still living include the Kiwi, a 'a biological oddity that is nocturnal and flightless. It has whiskers, it burrows, and even kicks like a kangaroo. It lays the largest egg of any bird for its body size, and its nostrils are at the end of its beak. The Kea is the world's only parrot capable of living in alpine environments. It is a resourceful bird and one of the most intelligent in the world. It is a large bird with different shades of green with brown and orange plumage chest and abdomen. Kakapo is the world's heaviest parrot and longest living birds. The Tui is a honeyeater with black colouring with a multicoloured iridescent shine and has a small tuft of white feathers on the front of its neck. It is extremely aggressive toward other birds and is known for its crazy antics such as aerial acrobatics. Takahe were once thought extinct but 200 birds were found in a very isolated part of New Zealand. They are a large, flightless bird with purple-blue colouring and greenish brown lower back. The Fantail is a common bird that often follows you when you walk through the forest. They can come quite close and have a spectacular fan shaped white tail.