Activate Awataha - Songbirds & Native Birds are Amazing

Hear birdsong like you've never heard it before, with bird expert Wesley Webb.


Who is Wesley Webb?

WesProfileOutdoorsSquareDr. Wesley Webb is a bird-nerd ecologist at Massey University. He loves giving public talks to showcase the marvels of nature and inspire conservation of our native taonga. His two passions are music and ecology, and so his PhD combined these passions with a fascinating study on NZ bellbird/ korimako songbird dialects, yes dialects, across the islands of the Hauraki Gulf.


What others have said about talks by Wesley Webb:

"Absolutely fascinating, it was like listening to a TED talk! Everyone should want to go to one of Wesley's talks."



Songbirds & Native Birds Talk:

11am - 12pm, Northcote Library

Bird Monitoring Workshop:

1:30pm - 3pm, Stancich Reserve, opposite 32 Ocean View Road

Come to one or come to both!



The sounds of the forest - and beyond!

A tour of acoustic communication in animals. Animals use sounds for fighting, flirting, group coordination, signaling identity, scaring off predators and more. Some species develop their sounds automatically. Others (like humans and songbirds) must learn by listening and imitating — which leads to the interesting phenomenon of dialects. Dr Wesley Webb will take us on a tour of the astonishing diversity of acoustic communication in animals, including many native NZ taonga. He will also reveal some surprises about male and female song dialects in New Zealand bellbirds, the topic of his PhD. Brace yourself for weird and wonderful animal sounds!

After the captivating talk, we will run a Bird Monitoring Workshop in Stancich Reserve, a short distance away. This Reserve has a big grove of magnificent, mature kahikatea trees and we might get lucky seeing and hearing some native birds with new ears!

Korimako/ Bellbird photo credit: Pete Forrest Photography

Thank you to our supporters for making it happen!

AC+Eke Panuku + KLB LOGO


Cost: FREE
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About the event

230311 Bird Talk Workshop

As part of celebrating the opening of Northcote’s new greenway we run monthly events about associated mahi and taonga.

About Northcote Greenway & Te Ara Awataha

Te Ara Awataha is a 1.5km greenway corridor in the heart of Northcote. The key focus of the project is to bring mauri back to the Awataha Stream, which includes regenerating its source, the Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve, also known as Kākā Reserve.

Since March 2019, Kaipātiki Project has been delivering the community-led regeneration of this reserve on behalf of Eke Panuku in partnership with mana whenua, Auckland Council's Healthy Waters and the Kaipātiki Local Board. Working to deliver on the aspirations of the Take Mauri Take Hono mauri indicator framework developed by mana whenua, Kaipātiki Project is piloting this whole systems approach for community restoration. This framework guides efforts to boost the mauri (life essence) of the stream, improve water quality and allow it to become a habitat for birds, insects, and tuna (eels) once more. It also reconnects the community to this lost environmental taonga (treasure) through the wider stream daylighting project.

About Awataha Stream

Te Ara Awataha Daylighting Project is to open the waterway up to create an impressive greenway for residents to enjoy recreational activities but also to manage the waterway’s flow to decrease the risk of flooding in the Northcote area.   

The source of Awataha stream is in the small but important Jesse Tonar Scout Reserve at the end of Kaka Street. If the source is unhealthy that poor health will reflect on the rest of the waterway. The reserve contains some impressive mature tree specimens, including kahikatea and totara, and, through the efforts of volunteers has been planted with an understory of different species including kānuka, ti kouka, ake ake and more. This is to stop the area from being taken over by invasive weed species, which would easily happen if left unattended.  

Without a flourishing cover of vegetation on a waterway, it becomes stagnant and hot over the summer which is very unfavourable to aquatic creatures. Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and groundcovers also help to stabilise banks and reduce erosion during heavy rain events.  

The vision is to remove the straight canal system that the Awataha has gradually been transformed into since the ‘50s and change it into a more natural meandering waterway.