Miranda Shorebird Centre is owned and operated by the Miranda Naturalists’ Trust, founded in 1975.
Our aims include:
- promoting awareness of coastal ecology
- promoting awareness of the Miranda coast, its flora and fauna
- promoting awareness of shorebirds and their ecology
- facilitating research and education
We organise a range of events and education programmes, including training courses. We are also involved in work in the East Asian Australasian Flyway.
What we offer:
The Shorebird Centre is an information and education facility open seven days a week. We offer
- up to date birding and other local information
- overnight accommodation
- general interpretation displays and talks
- open days with speakers prominent in their fields
- education opportunities
- a meeting place
We are an independent charitable trust and do not receive state funding. Our main sources of income are:
- membership subscriptions
- accommodation revenue
- retail sales
- grants and bequests
Day visits – there is no entry fee but a donation is appreciated
School Visits – day visit including interpretative talk $5.00 per person
Tour groups – interpretative talk (by prior arrangement only) $5.00 per person
Accommodation – see our accommodation rates
Hire of centre – price on application
WHY VISIT MIRANDA?
The amazing annual migrations of Bar-tailed Godwits, nearly half the world population of Wrybill, whirling flocks of thousands of shorebirds, the rare geology of shell bank cheniers, the nature and rhythms of the estuary – these are just some of the features of the Miranda coast. These and other stories are told at the Miranda Shorebird Centre on the Firth of Thames.
In March 2007 a female Bar-tailed Godwit, known from her leg flag as E7, took off from the Firth of Thames and flew into the record books. When she returned to the Firth six months later, she had flown nearly 30,000 km on her migration to breeding grounds in Alaska, via the Yellow Sea coast of China. She returned to New Zealand in one nonstop flight of 11,680 km in just over eight days – a record for any non-seabird. The satellite tags used to track E7 and other godwits were installed at the Miranda Shorebird Centre in association with an international network of researchers.
Miranda is the best site in the world to see large flocks of Wrybill. Endemic to New Zealand, their sideways turned bill is unique among birds. They breed only on braided river beds in the central eastern South Island before migrating to northern New Zealand. The population is estimated to be around 5300 birds, over 40% of which spend their non breeding season at Miranda.
Gleaming white banks of shells line the Miranda coast. Known as cheniers, these shell banks are part of a system which has built up the coastal plain over the last 4500 years. Dynamic and ever changing, they are a continuing legacy of the rich ecosystem of the Firth of Thames. The abundance of food found here is what also attracts tens of thousands of shorebirds each year.
Information, birding tips, environmental education, accommodation and the most comprehensive natural history bookshop in New Zealand – it is all at the Miranda Shorebird Centre, open seven days a week.