A cruise around Fiordland last year introduced us to places that were little different from how they would have been when the Maori and later Captain Cook first saw them.
Although they looked similar, they were quieter without the birdsong that would have greeted those early visitors.
Hunters and introduced predators wiped out many of the birds but thanks to the dedicated work of Department of Conservation staff and volunteers, breeding programmes and predator control are slowly, repopulating the bush, at least on some of the islands.
Further north, a recovery programme has established a sustainable population of whio, the blue duck which adorns our $10 note.
Today I’m grateful for the people who work so hard to bring back the native birds from the brink of extinction.