Story: Introduced land birds

George and Mary Cooper

George and Mary Cooper

In December 1850 George and Mary Cooper left their home in Gloucestershire and boarded the Travancore to sail to Lyttelton. Their ship carried a collection of starlings intended to begin a colony of the birds in the new country. However, it was difficult transporting birds through rough seas and extreme weather conditions. By the time the boat had left the Bay of Biscay only four starlings remained. Three of these died before the ship reached Lyttelton and the fourth escaped. It was another 11 years before starlings were successfully transported to New Zealand.

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Introduced land birds - Introducing birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 September 2023)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Nov 2008, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015