Native Birds of New Zealand is a photographic book of New Zealand native birds that will appeal to the casual bird-watcher as well as the ornithologist. Many books in the past have been aimed at the serious ornithologist, with illustrations designed to show distinct feather patterns but not to create an image that is also pleasing to the eye. The photographs in this book have been taken by David Hallett, one of New Zealand’s leading wildlife photographers, who captures the beauty of New Zealand’s native birds in their natural environment, from the subtropical north to the Sub-Antarctic Islands, and from the oceans to the alpine meadows of the Southern Alps.
The text is kept short and avoids the in-depth academic material found in some of the very good reference books on the market. It does include all the interesting facts that set our native birds apart, presented in a short, concise format that makes the book ideal for browsing. With the advent of digital photography, many more birders are now equipping themselves with cameras as well as binoculars when they go into the field, creating an increasing awareness of wildlife photography. This trend, combined with the affection New Zealanders have for their native birds, makes Native Birds of New Zealand a book that will have widespread appeal.
David Hallett's awareness of nature began as a teenager tramping and climbing in Taranaki, during which time he bought his first camera to capture the memories and share his experiences. His resulting love of photography led him to a 40-year career as a photojournalist. He spent five years at theAuckland Star until the newspaper closed in 1991, then became self employed, specialising in fly fishing and yachting photography. During this time David produced two books: Moods of New Zealand Fly Fishing (Craig Potton Publishing, 1997), and Classic Fly Fishing in New Zealand Rivers (Craig Potton Publishing, 2003) with John Kent, which won a Montana Book Award.
When the opportunity to live in the South Island arose, he joined the Illustrations Department at The Press in Christchurch, and rediscovered the challenge of bird photography. He won the best single picture at the 2010 Qantas Media Awards, and in 2012 won the NZ Geographic magazine wildlife photographer of the year. David left The Press in 2013 to concentrate on photographing New Zealand’s wild places and its wildlife.