There are many species of petrel in the Hauraki Gulf, ranging from the Black Petrel to the famous NZ Storm Petrel.
We commonly see their relative, the White-faced Storm Petrel (also known as Jesus birds) who dance along the surface of the water as they sniff out zooplankton to feed upon.
The Black Petrel (Tāiko) is a nationally vulnerable species. It’s one of four seabird species that breed only in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and nowhere else in the world. After breeding on Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands, black petrels migrate to South American waters around August and September.
Rare visitors such as the Southern Giant Petrel are always spectacular to see!
Petrels feed on the same type of food as several species of whale, including the Bryde’s whale, so if we see a flock of petrels feeding, we know we’re onto something good!