Posts categorized as Birds

Taukihepa / Big South Cape Island – 1931 and 2012 – In the footsteps of Edgar Stead (Part 6)

  • A Snares Island snipe on Putauhinu Island in March 2012. Photo: Ray Moss
  • South Island snipe at its nest on the tops of Taukihepa, December 1931. Edgar Stead photograph 2010.75.158, Canterbury Museum
  • Putauhinu Island viewed from the summit of Taukihepa. Edgar Stead studied the now extinct South Island snipe breeding among the stunted manuka and inaka on the tops of Taukihepa in 1931. Snares Island snipe were successfully introduced to Putauhinu Island in 2005. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Rerewhakaupoko (Solomon Island) at rear, and Pukeweka Island viewed from the tops of Taukihepa (Big South Cape Island). Top image taken in 1931 (Edgar Stead photograph 2010.75.158, Canterbury Museum), lower image in 2012 (photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa). Stead and companions stayed in one of the cluster of huts near the south coast of Rerewhakaupoko.

Te Papa’s curator of terrestrial vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly is researching the life and work of the Canterbury naturalist Edgar Stead (1881-1949). This includes re-taking Stead’s photos from the same photo-point, taking other images to illustrate his diaries, and describing how the ecology and wildlife of each of 10 islands has changed since Stead’s visits…. Read more »

Rerewhakaupoko / Solomon Island – 1931 and 2012 – In the footsteps of Edgar Stead (Part 5)

  • Broad-billed prion (parara) on Solomon Island, March 2012. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Jackbird (juvenile South Island saddleback - on left) and adult South Saddleback photographed 3 days after they were re-introduced to Solomon Island, March 2012. Photos: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Stewart Island robin on Solomon Island, March 2012. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Bush wren on Solomon Island, November 1931 (Edgar Stead photo 2001.59.20, Macmillan Collection, Canterbury Museum)

Te Papa’s curator of terrestrial vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly is researching the life and work of the Canterbury naturalist Edgar Stead (1881-1949). This includes re-taking Stead’s photos from the same photo-point, taking other images to illustrate his diaries, and describing how the ecology and wildlife of each of 10 islands has changed since Stead’s visits. The… Read more »

Are muttonbirds radioactive?

  • Good enough to eat. Roast titi await palatability testing. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A muttonbirder holds a pre-season titi (sooty shearwater chick). Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Adult sooty shearwater (kaiaka), Kundy Island. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Adult sooty shearwaters (kaiaka) depart from Rerewhakaupoko (Solomon Island) at dawn. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

The March 2011 Japanese earthquake and following tsunami took a terrible human toll, and also had devastating impacts on wildlife. As the tsunami tracked east it washed over the low-lying atolls of the north-western Hawaiian islands, killing thousands of albatrosses and petrels. The tsunami also crippled the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power-plant, sending a plume of radiation… Read more »

Our far South – Antipodes and Bounty Islands: dots of importance

  • Salvin's albatross. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Furseal. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

I awoke on the morning of 6 March to discover that we had very rapid progress over night and were approaching the rugged columnular basalt cliffs of the Antipodes Island, crowned with green tussocks. The home to the Antipodean albatross,the Antipodes Island parakeet and the erect-crested penguin (to name just a few of the birds!)…. Read more »

Zooming-in on New Zealand Storm-Petrel breeding sites

  • Chris Gaskin ready to release a New Zealand storm-petrel. Photo and copyright Dylan Owen.
  • Best haystack to date, who will find the needle? Little barrier seen from the north. Photo Jean-Claude Stahl, copyright Te Papa.
  • Off to a pleasant day at the office. Left to right: Dylan Owen, Jacinda Woolly, Chris Gaskin, Brett Rathe. Photo jean-Claude Stahl, copyright Te Papa.
  • Heading west from the Mokohinaus, with the Burgess island lighthouse in the background. Photo Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.

Teamwork during a Te Papa funded charter trip in the Hauraki Gulf got us a step closer in the hunt for the breeding grounds of the recently rediscovered New Zealand Storm-Petrel (Pelaeornis maoriana). The search team included Te Papa researcher Jean-Claude Stahl, Chris Gaskin who is part of the New Zealand storm-petrel research group, and Brett Rathe… Read more »