An annotated checklist of the birds of Motu Kaikoura (Selwyn Island) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, is provided from surveys carried out between Dec 2006 and Jun 2008, supplemented by other recent observations. Thirty-seven species were recorded, including 25 species of land or wetland birds, and 12 species of seabirds and shorebirds. A total of 26 species were indigenous and 11 species were exotic. Motu Kaikoura was gazetted as a scenic reserve in 2004, with ecological restoration a key aim of its management. The 564 ha island has low vegetation diversity, reflecting a long history of anthropogenic degradation. Fallow deer (Dama dama), rats (Rattus spp.), mice (Mus musculus) and feral cats (Felis catus) were present on the island. Eradication of invasive mammals has been a management priority, with the bird surveys representing baseline data against which the progress of ecological restoration can be measured.