Christmas and my current trip north means that I’ll be taking a break from my six-part examination of New Zealand extinctions this week. Instead in this relaxed time of the year I thought I’d share some photos from a pelagic trip I took last Wednesday. I’ll be writing a full story on the amazing seabirds you can see in the Hauraki Gulf off New Zealand’s Northland coast soon, but for the moment please enjoy the wonderful White-faced Storm-petrel.

White-faced Storm-petrel (Pelagodroma marina)

The White-faced Storm-petrel is a long-legged species of storm-petrel and the only member of its genus. They have a unique variation on the storm-petrel surface pattering, holding their wings out straight and at an angle and using them to hold the wind, and then moving across the water’s surface with a series of bounds. This is different to the Oceanites method of fluttering to hover above the water.



Sharp turn!

Being chased by a Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur)

Snatching a quick bite.

Side-by-side with a New Zealand Storm-petrel (Oceanites maorianus). This critically endangered species is another highlight of pelagic trips off Northland.

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.