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Getting to know our birds

Northern New Zealand has a suite of very special seabirds. It is a globally important area for seabirds with 37 species breeding here. Six of those breed nowhere else in the world.


NB: There are approximately 360 species of seabirds in the world

Seabirds inhabit both the terrestrial and the marine environments, that means they breed on land, but they get their food from the sea, where they spend most of their lives.


A significant proportion of the seabirds that breed in the region are migratory, i.e. once they finish breeding they migrate outside the region.

Species breeding in the northern New Zealand:

Northern Little (Blue) Penguin Eudyptula minor iredale

Northern Buller's (Pacific) Albatross Thalassarche bulleri platei

White-naped petrel Pterodroma cervicalis

Kermadec Petrel Pterodroma neglecta

Cook’s Petrel Pterodroma cookii

Pycroft’s Petrel Pterodroma pycrofti

Black-winged Petrel Pterodroma nigripennis

Grey-faced Petrel Pterodroma gouldi

Buller’s Shearwater Ardenna bulleri

Flesh-footed Shearwater Ardenna carneipes

Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica

Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea

Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia

Kermadec Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis kermadecensis

Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis haurakiensis


Black (Parkinson's) Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni

Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur

Common Diving Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix

Kermadec Storm-petrel Pelagodroma albiclunis

White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina maoriana

White-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria


New Zealand Storm-petrel Fregetta maoriana

Masked (Tasman) Booby Sula dactylatra tasmani

Australasian Gannet Morus serrator

Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda


Pied Shag Phalacrocorax varius

Little Shag Phalacrocorax melanoleucos brevirostris

Southern Black-backed (Kelp) Gull Larus dominicanus

Red-billed Gull Larus scopulinus

Black-billed Gull Larus bulleri

Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia

White-fronted Tern Sterna striata


New Zealand Fairy Tern Sternula nereis davisae

White Tern Gygis alba royana


Brown Noddy Anous stolidus

Black Noddy Anous minutus

Grey Noddy Procelsterna albivitta albaivitta


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