Te Papa scientists Alan Tennyson and Colin Miskelly recently joined a Department of Conservation-led survey of seabird colonies in remote Chalky Inlet and Preservation Inlet in southern Fiordland. The team made the most of an extended spell of fine weather to land on an astonishing 77 islands. Colin Miskelly summarises some of their more notable discoveries.Read more

Have you ever wondered which New Zealand bird was the first to be given a published scientific name? The unlikely answer is the broad-billed prion, named as ‘Procellaria vittata’ by a 22-year-old Georg Forster in 1777.Read more

Alan Tennyson and Colin Miskelly taking a blood sample from a fulmar prion. Toru Islet with main Snares Islands in background. 28 Nov 2013 Photographer Antony Kusabs ©Te Papa

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 howRead more

By Sarah Jamieson & Colin Miskelly Over the past two (southern hemisphere) summers, Te Papa seabird researchers have been investigating population trends and foraging behaviour of flesh-footed shearwaters. These all-dark seabirds are well known to recreational fishers around the North Island and in Cook Strait, as the birds have theRead more

Coastline view of Titi Island, Marlborough where Te Papa carried out shearwater research. Photograph by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa

Te Papa researchers are studying wildlife populations in the field to find out about their diversity and behaviours, distribution and threats, with a programme of research on the shearwaters found nesting in New Zealand. We were privileged to visit Titi Island in the outer Pelorus Sound (Marlborough) for our summer field programme.Read more