Story: Birdwatching

Charlie Douglas

Charlie Douglas

From the 1860s, Scottish-born explorer Charlie Douglas spent four decades roaming southern Westland. Interested in geology, fauna and flora, he provided maps and reports to the Lands and Survey Department. Recognising his ability to travel independently in the most difficult country, the department employed him as an explorer. He and his dog Betsey Jane (pictured) lived mostly off the land, catching birds and eels. His descriptions of the abundant bird life make fascinating reading.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 75-241-001C-17
Photograph by Arthur Paul Harper

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gordon Ell, 'Birdwatching - New Zealand’s birdwatching history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 April 2024)

Story by Gordon Ell, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015