Ornithological Society of New Zealand

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The Ornithological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ), also known as Birds New Zealand, was founded in 1940. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the study of birds and their habitats in the New Zealand region. It caters for a wide variety of people interested in the birds of the region, from professional ornithologists to casual birdwatchers. The Society publishes a peer-reviewed quarterly scientific journal, Notornis, as well as a quarterly news magazine, Birds New Zealand (formerly known as Southern Bird).[1] It also organises membership-based scientific projects, such as the Atlas of Bird Distribution in New Zealand.


The aims[2] of the OSNZ are to:

  • encourage, organise and promote the study of birds and their habitat use particularly within the New Zealand region
  • foster and support the wider knowledge and enjoyment of birds generally
  • promote the recording and wide circulation of the results of bird studies and observations
  • produce a journal and any other publication containing matters of ornithological interest
  • effect co-operation and exchange of information with other organisations having similar aims and objects
  • assist the conservation and management of birds by providing information, from which sound management decisions can be derived
  • maintain a library of ornithological literature for the use of members and to promote a wider knowledge of birds
  • promote the archiving of observations, studies and records of birds particularly in the New Zealand region
  • carry out any other activity which is capable of being conveniently carried out in connection with the above objects, or which directly or indirectly advances those objects or any of them


Following preliminary discussions in 1938 and 1939, the OSNZ was formally established at an inaugural general meeting, chaired by Robert Falla, on 24 May 1940 at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. It became an incorporated body in January 1953.[3]


Notornis is a peer-reviewed scientific journal which focuses on bird-based research both in New Zealand and the South Pacific. The Society has been publishing the journal since 1943.[1]


The society grants the Robert Falla Memorial Award.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Notornis and Birds New Zealand". Birds New Zealand. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  2. ^ OSNZ aims
  3. ^ Gill, B.J.; & Heather, B.D. (1990). A Flying Start. Commemorating 50 years of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, 1940-1990. Random Century and OSNZ: Auckland. ISBN 1-86941-080-7
  4. ^ a b "Trust Chair wins prestigious award". West Coast Penguin Trust. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 

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