Seabird information

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Black Petrel

Taiko | Procellaria parkinsoni

Has dark blackish-brown plumage, a dark tipped beak and distinctive glide in flight

Often seen scavenging behind boats, mainly in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty north

Feeds on fish and crustaceans

Breeds only on Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands, from November to June

Migrates to the eastern Pacific from July to October, where they are seen off the coast of Mexico, northern Peru and around the Galapagos Islands

NZ Threat Classification Nationally Vulnerable

Black petrels can be aggressive feeders and dive up to 20 m for bait on hooks. They also feed at night. It's a mystery why male and female birds look for food separately and in different places.

Black petrel colonies were once commonly found on hills and mountains in the North Island and north-western South Island. Population estimates are now 1100 pairs on Great Barrier Island and 50-100 pairs on Little Barrier.

2015 Radio NZ interview

Listen here to Radio New Zealand Our Changing World presenter Alison Ballance interview leading black petrel scientist Biz (Elizabeth) Bell at the Hikarimata colony towards the end of the breeding season 2015.

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Black Petrel

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Taiko | Procellaria parkinsoni

Has dark blackish-brown plumage, a dark tipped beak and distinctive glide in flight

Often seen scavenging behind boats, mainly in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty north

Feeds on fish and crustaceans

Breeds only on Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands, from November to June

Migrates to the eastern Pacific from July to October, where they are seen off the coast of Mexico, northern Peru and around the Galapagos Islands

NZ Threat Classification Nationally Vulnerable

Black petrels can be aggressive feeders and dive up to 20 m for bait on hooks. They also feed at night. It's a mystery why male and female birds look for food separately and in different places.

Black petrel colonies were once commonly found on hills and mountains in the North Island and north-western South Island. Population estimates are now 1100 pairs on Great Barrier Island and 50-100 pairs on Little Barrier.

2015 Radio NZ interview

Listen here to Radio New Zealand Our Changing World presenter Alison Ballance interview leading black petrel scientist Biz (Elizabeth) Bell at the Hikarimata colony towards the end of the breeding season 2015.