Aotearoa is well known as a land of birds. Some of the earliest observations of the country’s natural history were ornithological: Joseph Banks famously described being “awakd by the singing of the birds ashore” on his voyage aboard the HMS Endeavour (1768-1771). Ngā manu (birds) often appear in whakataukī (Māori proverbs). The phrase: “He Kotuku rerenga tahi/ A white heron flies once” is used to refer to an auspicious occasion. Birds are taonga and part of the ‘kiwi’ identity. They have become part of our national brand, standing for the uniqueness of our way of life and the fragility of our ecosystems, and we treasure them for it.