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Published: 2017-06-29 08:30:00

C’mon, give us your best bird shot.

Waikato Regional Council’s latest biennial Hamilton Halo photography contest is officially getting underway on 1 July as a celebration of the native bird life that is increasingly part of the family in the city.

People are invited to submit their best snap of a tui, kereru or bellbird by 31 July.

The Hamilton Halo Project involves controlling nest-raiding rats and possums at eight key bush sites in the 20 kilometre ‘halo’ surrounding the city where most of the tui that visit Hamilton go to breed in the summer. This control thereby increases the chances of native birds nesting successfully. The competition this year coincides with national Biosecurity Month.

“Halo has been helping our native bird life blossom in Hamilton,” says Waikato Regional Council’s Halo project manager Andrea Julian

“We want people’s best shots of our birds to help us celebrate this amazing achievement.

“Bringing the tui back into Hamilton was both the inspiration and the challenge for Hamilton Halo when it was launched in 2007. Due to this project, Hamilton now has more than 20 times the number of tui visiting, and they’ve been joined by bellbirds, kereru and other species too,” she said. 

“We are continuing our work out in the halo but we are also turning our focus on to working with community groups within the city to help the birds stay all year around.”   

To qualify for the photo competition, images must be snapped since the start of the calendar year and within a 20 kilometre radius of Hamilton. Other contest terms and conditions are available at

The best overall image will win a $150 Prezzy Card, one year family pass to the Hamilton Zoo, and the winning photo printed on canvas. There’s also a free entry for a family to the Sanctuary Mountain bird enclosure at Maungatautari.

The people’s choice award winner – determined in August by the number of ‘likes’ on the Hamilton Halo Facebook page – will win a $100 Prezzy Card and the winning photo printed on canvas.

Images need to be between 1 and 8 megabytes in size and should be sent to by 11.59pm on 31 July.

Find out more at or at

More than 70 photos were submitted for judging in 2015. Our attached picture was the overall winner – a kereru taken by Ngaruawahia’s Jeanine Ashdown.