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The primary aim of Where to Watch Birds in Canterbury is to promote birdwatching in Canterbury, New Zealand, by making available for the first time in print a comprehensive description of good places to watch birds in the region. For the purposes of this guide the boundaries follow those of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand with a northern boundary formed by the Clarence River, a western boundary of the Main Divide of the Southern Alps and a southern boundary of the courses of the Waitaki and Ahuriri Rivers. Where to Watch Birds in Canterbury therefore covers a vast area of New Zealand.
Where to Watch Birds in Canterbury is divided into chapters, in either district council and habita t/ geographical senses. A large number of habitats can be found in Canterbury and different species of birds are associated with each. Mosaics of habitats can be found within short distances in some parts of the region, producing hotspots of bird diversity.