Posts categorized as Birds

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 »

Our Far South: Roaring Forties, furious fifties and Screaming sixties…

  • tabular iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • ICeberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa

Heading south from Macquarie Island we have had some relatively calm seas, pretty remarkable for this part of the world. Leaving the Roaring Forties which gave us a pretty slow rolling sea the fifties gave us a small taste of what it had to offer with some mild five-metre seas. Passing past 60 degrees south was… Read more »