Story: Birdwatching


Early European expeditions to New Zealand and Australia brought naturalists who collected specimens for museum and private collections. The specimens were then drawn (without seeing the live bird) and scientifically described by ornithologists back in Europe such as John Latham. He made this engraving of a purple water hen (purple gallinule), better known in New Zealand as pūkeko.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-191-006
Hand-coloured engraving by John Latham

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 7 July 2022)

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