The most abundant bird on the Snares Islands is the sooty shearwater (also known as the muttonbird or tītī). Four Te Papa scientists had the daunting task of counting over a million sooty shearwaters on the islands to determine the trends in their population. Watch the video to see how they did it. We wish… Read more »

No Mo December

Old Spice set

Put those moustache cups away for another year, and splash on some bracing aftershave. Here are some shaving related items in Te Papa’s collections to inspire you Movember-ites to lather up and remove the moustaches you have tended over the last month. What about this shaving mug for the politically-minded moustache-remover, below. It features an illustration of the… Read more »

William H. Macey – making a fine art of studio portrait photography

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I’ve said in a previous blog post that Blenheim photographer William Macey’s cabinet cards elevated the format to an art form. So I thought I had better demonstrate my point by putting together a blog of some of his best studio portraits from those in Te Papa’s photography collection. What I admire about these portraits from his… Read more »

Little penguins foraging during chick-rearing in Wellington

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  • Logger attachment in action for a little penguin, showing the tape sticking to the underside of back feathers, the logger (black object on the handler's knee). Image Ruth Hendry, Copyright Te Papa.
  • A little penguin is measured to assess the length of its beak with calipers during logger attachment. Image Ruth Hendry, Copyright Te Papa.
  • Palliser Bay and the waters outside of Wellington Harbour heads, and area used by many seabirds in New Zealand, and commonly by little penguins from Wellington harbour breeding sites. Image Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.

The work on little penguins around Wellington continues, now that most of the nesting pairs have one or two chicks to feed. This week Te Papa scientists and helpers from various disciplines on the Te Papa staff have been putting out loggers on the chick-rearing penguins, both in Evan’s Bay and Day’s Bay. Our previous… Read more »

Zine-making student workshops with Kerry Ann Lee

Close up of student's zine art work, Wellington College

Te Papa recently commissioned local artist Kerry Ann Lee to make a new work for the light boxes in the Whare Toi / Art Studio space in Nga Toi / Arts Te Papa on level 5.  Her work Knowledge on a beam of  starlight  is conceived of as ‘The Incredible Dream Zine Machine’ – and invites visitors… Read more »

Motuara Little Penguin research – edition 2

This Little Penguin is incubating eggs with its mate and carried out a foraging trip from Motuara Island mainly with in Queen Charlotte Sound. Image GoogleEarth, Copyright Te Papa.

Work continues at Motuara Island on the little penguin foraging behaviour. The nesting penguins are mainly on chicks at this stage of the breeding cycle, although some birds have re-nested and are now incubating new eggs. Caroline Bost, the French intern working with Te Papa this summer, has been stationed out on Motuara Island in… Read more »

Expedition Snares Islands: Journey into Wild New Zealand

Snares crested penguins on the landing rocks in Station Cove. Image: Colin Miskelly: Te Papa

The wild and remote Snares Islands, 105km south-southwest of Stewart Island, are usually home only to a vast array of birds and sea life. In late 2013 the islands saw the arrival of four lucky Te Papa scientists to carry out a range of seabird and plant research projects. Watch the video below and find… Read more »

A Collection of Beach-Loving Beetles

The L.H. McDowall collection of sand scrabs.
Photo credit: Phil Sirvid, Te Papa.

Te Papa’s entomology collection is now home to 66 native sand scarab beetles (Pericoptus sp.) from the estate of L.H. McDowall. In the 1960s, McDowall illustrated insect guide books such as ‘Native Beetles’ and ‘Native and Introduced Butterflies and Moths’. A collection of her original illustrations was also recently acquired by Te Papa. The beetles… Read more »

Inspiring disabled designs

GH021216 Wallpaper sample

Pokerwork, or ‘pyrography’ if you want to be fancy, was one of the craft activities encouraged by doctors who supervised the recuperation of soldiers wounded during World War One. Generally, medical experts recognised the benefits of gentle, repetitive actions for damaged muscles. Squeezing the bulb of a pokerwork machine – that created the heat required… Read more »

Imagine Childcare visits the Tyrannosaurs at Te Papa!

Field work in Bush City, Photographer: Imagine Childcare, © Imagine Childcare

This blog provides an excellent opportunity not only for us to share with you, but  for you to share with each other. How do you use our museum as a learning resource? What do you find to be best practice? Why are museum and gallery experiences important for your tamariki?  Our latest story comes from kaiako (teacher) Nichola from Imagine Childcare… Read more »