A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
Jullian Fitter, Don Merton
Princeton University Press, 2011
When I visited New Zealand in 2005 the standard field guide to the birds was Heather, Robertson, Onley, which is an outstanding reference, but its large format made it inconvenient for use in the field. Thankfully, Princeton University Press has published a brand new guide to New Zealand birds.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, by Julian Fitter and Don Merton includes outstanding photographs of all of the 350 species that can be seen in New Zealand. Also included is excellent text and distribution information. The authors have also included a section for visitors including lists of top birding spots, national parks and protected areas, trip operators, and conservation organizations. The book is pocket sized and easy to carry and use in the field. If, like me, you are slightly OCD, you will want the Heather, Robertson, Onley guide for your library. But for use in the field this new offering from Fitter and Merton is the book to have.
By-the-way, if you plan to hire a birding guide, you cannot do better than Wrybill Birding Tours (www.wrybill-tours.com). My group was led by Ian Saville (“Sav”), one of the two owners of the company. Sav is one of the best birders and leaders I have ever experienced.