Pterodroma pelagics New Zealand seabird expeditions

Hauraki Gulf (Auckland, New Zealand) and New Zealand's Far North Seabird Tours. Great itineraries for ship-based New Zealand Seabird Birdwatching Expeditions - Three Kings, NZ. South Pacific Seabird Expeditions and Oceanic Seabird Birdwatching Opportunities

Painting by Sarah McBeath

Bird Gallery

Click image or bird name for larger photograph

 NameBreeding AreaBreeding SeasonDispersal/Migration
Cook's Petrel
Pterodroma cookii
Little Barrier & Great Barrier Islands, Hauraki Gulf; Codfish Island (near Stewart Island); historically throughout NZ (North & South Islands)Late August to late AprilWinters in eastern central Pacific Ocean
Pycroft's Petrel
Pterodroma pycrofti
Islands off northern NZ east coast: Stephenson. Aorangi,Mercury Is, Hen & Chickens and Poor Knights Islands - endemic to the Hauraki GulfOctober through MarchSea range not known but probably migrates to northern Pacific. No records from ourside NZ waters.
Black-winged Petrel
P. nigripennis
Kermadec Is; Three Kings Is; Portland I; Ilots de Bass; Norfolk, Philip and Lord Howe Is; Chatham, Poor Knights Is; Islets off New Caledonia and TongaOctober through MayMigrates to northern Central Pacific May to October
Grey-faced Petrel
P. macroptera
Offshore islands and certain mainland cliffs of North IslandLate February through December Resident throughout the year in South Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. Non-migratory.
Kermadec Petrel
P. neglecta
Kermadec Is; Lord Howe, Rapa Ducie and Henderson Is; Tuamotus; Oeno AtollAugust through May
Some breed in Winter
North and South Pacific
Providence Petrel
Pterodroma solandri
Lord Howe IslandFebruary through NovemberNot well known
White-naped Petrel
Pterodroma cervicalis
Macauley Island in the KermadecsOctober through JuneCentral Pacific
White-headed Petrel
Pterodroma lessonii
Subantarctic Indian Ocean; Macquarie Island (Aus); NZ - Antipodes and Auckland Islands.November to MayRanges through southern oceans
Soft-plumaged Petrel
Pterodroma mollis
Subantarctic Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and Antipodes Island, New Zealand.December to MayRanges through Southern Ocean
Mottled Petrel
Pterodroma inexpectata
Fiordland (incl island in Lake Hauroko), Codfish and other islands off Stewart Island, and the Snares IslandsDecember to JuneNorth Pacific
Black Petrel
Procellaria parkinsoni
Little Barrier and Great Barrier IsOctober to JulyPresent in offshore North I waters during the breeding season. Winters in eastern tropical Pacific March-November.
Westland Black Petrel
Procellaria westlandica
West Coast of South I south from Punakaiki RiverMid February to DecemberRanges over continental shelf waters between Cape Egmont and Foveaux Strait to the west, and between East Cape and Banks Peninsula to the east during the breeding season. From December to March. Whereabouts unknown.
White-chinned Petrel
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Auckland, Campbell and Antipodes Is; South Georgia; Falkalnd Is; Marion and prine Edward Is; Crozet and Kerguelen Is; Inaccessible IsSeptember to MayCircumpolar range extending in NZ waters north to Cook Strait in Summer and far north in Winter. Seen most often to the south and east of NZ.
Grey Petrel
Procellaria cinerea
In New Zealand region, at Antipodes and Campbell Islands. Breeds circumpolar subantarctic. Breeds February to NovemberIn summer and autumn immature Grey petrels move to areas off eastern coast of North island. Adults rarely move north of 45 S during this period.

During the breeding season adult females move further north than males, with winter and spring concentration known for areas of east Cape. We can now confirm their presence of North Auckland coast (19 June 05) during this period.
Diving Petrel
Pelecanoides urinatrix
Many islands and islets off North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Solander and Snares Is; south-eastern Australian islandsApril to FebruaryRanges throughout coastal waters
NZ Storm Petrel
Pealeornis maoriana
Breeding location unknown, probably Outer Hauraki Gulf IslandsProbably November to AprilNorth along the warm East Auckland Current. Possibly into the north Tasman Sea.
White-faced SP
Pelagodroma marina
Temperate and subtropical Atlantic and around Australia & New Zealand. Hauraki Gulf (Mokohinaus, Poor Knights, Noises), Bay of Plenty, Motunau Is, around Stewart Island and ChathamsSeptember/October to early March in the Hauraki GulfPacific Ocean
Grey-backed Storm Petrel
Oceanites nereis
Circumpolar subantarctic. Chathams, Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Islands in the New Zealand regionSeptember to MarchStays close to colonies after breeding, although some birds seen in NZ waters (eg Stewart Island)
Wilson's Storm Petrel
Oceanites oceanicus
Subantarctic and Antarctica (including a number of colonies in the Ross Sea. December to AprilNorthern Hemisphere. Seen along northern NZ coast April/May
Fregetta sp
***This bird was observed and photographed 35kms north of North Cape 21/05.
Aberrantly plumaged Petrel
*** Aberrantly plumaged petrel photograph by Karen Baird en route to Kermadec Islands - 19 October 2007
White-bellied Storm Petrel
Fregetta grallaria
Subtropical Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, including Kermadecs and Lord Howe Islands in our regionJanuary to JuneDisperse at sea towards Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti in South Pacific
Black-bellied Storm Petrel
Fregetta tropica
Circumpolar subantarctic, including Antipodes and Auckland Islands in our region. December to AprilMigrates to tropical waters in austral winter
Cape Petrel
Daption capense australe
Antarctic mainland and many antarctic and subantarctic islands. Macquarie, Heard and Peter I Is; Palmer Archipelago; S.Shetland, S.Orkney, S.Sandwich and Balleny Is; Crozet and Kerguelen Is; Bouvetoya I; S.GeorgiaAugust to MarchRanges around Southern seas as far north as the Tropic of Capricorn. Regularly beach-wrecked.
Northern Giant Petrel
Macronectus halli
Macquarie I; Marion I; Crozet and Kerguelen Is; S.Georgia; Chatham Is; Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Is; Stewart IJune to FebruaryOften seen in NZ coastal waters especially around Cook Strait ferries and Banks Peninsula. In Winter young birds disperse north and eastwards.
Southern Giant Petrel
Macronectus giganteus
S.Georgia, Marion, Macquarie and Heard Is; S.Shetland and S.Orkney Is; Crozet Is and on islands off AntarcticaAugust to AprilCommon visitor to NZ coastal waters
Buller's Shearwater
Puffinus bulleri
Poor Knights Is, NZAugust to MayMigrates in Winter to subtropical North Pacific.
Fluttering Sh.
Puffinus gavia
Many offshore islands around North I of NZ from Three Kings to Cook Strait and Marlborough Sounds.August to FebruaryRange in Winter extends to seas off S.Canterbury and sometimes as far as Chatham Is. Some, mainly young birds, migrate to eastern Australia in Winter and stay into early Summer. Stragglers reach New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Hutton's Shearwater
Puffinus huttoni
Seaward Kaikoura Range and possibly the Inland Kaikouras, NZ.August to MarchAbsent from breeding grounds from mid-April to end of August. Abundant in coastal seas from Otago peninsula to Cook Strait. Winters in Australian seas though some birds still seen off Kaikoura.
Flesh-footed Sh.
Puffinus carneipes
Many islands off the North I and south-western coast of Australia; Lord Howe I; Saint Paul ISeptember to MayRanges around North I wandering as far south as Foveaux Strait and Chatham Is during the breeding season. NZ and Lord Howe I birds winter in North Pacific.
Little Shearwater
Puffinus assimilis
Islands off the north-east coast of North I; Hen and Chickens; Stephenson I; Cavalli, Poor Knights, Mokohinau (Fanel)and Mercury IsJanuary to DecemberRanges from about North Cape to Bay of Plenty. Rarely straggles south to Hawkes Bay.
Sooty Shearwater
Puffinus griseus
Islands off NZ especially islands off Stewart I; Chatham, Antipodes, Auckland, Snares, Campbell, Solander and Macquarie Is; islands off Chile and Cape Horn; Falkland Is; islands off Tasmania and New South Wales.September to MayWinters in northern, south-eastern and south-western Pacific.
Short-tailed Sh.
Puffinus tenuirostris
Islands off south-eastern Australian coasts, in Bass Strait and around Tasmania.September to MayWinters in the north Pacific. Straggles to NZ, Raoul I and Macquarie I.
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Puffinus pacificus
Kermadec Is
Islands off eastern and western Australia, inumerable islands and islets throughout Indian and Pacific Oceans, in the tropics and subtropics.
October to JuneKermadec birds spend June to October in the south-eastern North Pacific.
Fairy Prion
Pachyptila turtur
Islands off North, South and Stewart Is; Chatham Is; Antipodes Is; The Snares; islands off SE Australia; Crozet and Kerguelen Is; Falkland IsAugust to FebruaryAbundant in offshore subtropical waters from North Cape to Foveaux Strait. Other populations throughout subantarctic zone.
Antarctic Prion
Pachyptila desolata
Blue Penguin
Eudyptula minor
Throughout New Zealand; islands of the Hauraki GulfAugust to MarchCommonly seen in coastal waters all year round. Moulting (up to 10 days) during breeding season Dec-March
Yellow-eyed Penguin
Megadyptes antipodes
South-eastern South Island, Stewart Island and islands nearby, Auckland and Campbell Islands September to MarchStay close to breeding grounds, some migrate north towards Cook Strait
Fiordland Crested Penguin
Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Rarest of all penguins. Breeds South Westland, Fiordland, Stewart Islands and islands nearby. July to DecemberLeave colonies mid December/early January. Adults return to moult at breeding sites (up to 20 days) January/March; sometimes along southern coasts; birds at sea until breeding starts
Snowy (Wandering) Albatross
Diomedea exulans
Subantarctic islands of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Also Macquarrie Island.Mid-December-February onwards.Subantarctic range. Fairly common in NZ seas with a northward shift in Winter. Breeds/disperses in alternate years.
Gibson's Albatross
Diomedea gibsoni
Auckland IslandsBreeds (biennially if successful. Jan (eggs laid) to approx Dec (young fledge)Ranges widely through Southern Oceans (circumpolar). Also NZ coastal waters in winter.
Antipodean Albatross
Diomedea antipodensis
Antipodes Island (with a few pairs on Campbell Island)Biennially (if successful) from mid-Jan (eggs laid). Young fledge approx Dec.Southern Ocean east to South America, and west to Australia
White-capped Alb.
Thalassarche [cauta] steadii
Disappointment, Auckland and Adams Is in the Auckland Is.August to AprilNot well known
Grey-headed Albatross
Thalassarche chrysostoma
Campbell Is; S.Georgia; Diego Ramirez Is; Marion and Prince Edward Is; Crozet Is; Macquarie I.September to MayJuveniles from Campbell I visit eastern Australia.
Salvin's Albatross
T. [cauta] salvini
Bounty Is and the SnaresSeptember to AprilRanges from NZ to the South Pacific and south Atlantic coasts of South America.
Black-browed Alb.
T. [melanophrys] melanophrys
Ildefonso I; Falkland Is; S.Georgia, Antipodes; Bishop and Clerks I; Kerguelen Is; Heard and Macquarie Is.September to AprilDispersal to southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Campbell Albatross
Thalassarche impavida
Campbell I; Antipodes?August to AprilMoves northward to Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean between New Caledonia and the Marquisas.
Buller's Albatross
T. [bulleri] bulleri
Snares Islands and Solander Island (Foveaux Strait)Late December/January to OctoberEast to South America & South Atlantic; west to South Australia
Pacific (Northern Buller's) Albatross
T. [bulleri] sp.
Motuhara and the Sisters in the Chathams ; Three Kings Is.September to JuneSeen at sea Cook Strait to East Cape; off Chilean coast.
Indic Yellow-nosed Alb.
T. [chlororhynchos] carteri
Tristan da Cunha; Gough, Prince Edward Is; Saint-Paul and Amsterdam Is.August to MayVisits NZ waters
Northern Royal Albatross
Diomedea [epomophora] sanfordi
Sisters and Motuhara in the Chathams; Tairoa Head, OtagoSeptember to SeptemberSubantarctic seas. During breeding season seen in NZ waters from Cook Strait to East Cape. Breeds/disperses in alternate years.
Southern Royal Albatross
Diomedea [epomophora] epomophora
Campbell and Auckland IsSeptember to OctoberDispersal as above. During breeding season seen in Southern NZ waters north to Cook Strait.
Black-backed Gull
Larus dominicanus
Coastal NZ, offshore islands, Chathams, Auckland, Campbell and Antipodes; also breeeds inland in NZ region. Subantarctic and temperate southern hemisphere including AustraliaOctober to FebruaryRanges widely in NZ
Red-billed Gull
Larus scopulinus
On coast from Far North (Three Kings) to Stewart Island, Chathams and Subantarctic Islands (Snares, Auckland, Campbell). Mokohinau Islands, Hauraki GulfOctober to FebruaryCommon in coastal waters all year round.
Arctic Skua
Stercorarius parasiticus
Arctic and subarcticNorthern hemisphere summerMigrates to Southern Oceans, January to April
Pomarine Skua
Stercorarius pomarinus
ArcticNorthern hemisphere summerMigrates to tropics and southern oceans. NZ coast, December to April
Brown skua
Catharacta skua
Fiordland, Stewart Island esp neighbouring islands and stacks, Chathams and Subantarctic Islands; occasionally see in Hauraki Gulf all year September to MarchSouthern oceans
South Polar Skua
Catharacta maccormicki
In New Zealand region, Ross Dependency Antarctica(Cape Crozier, Possession Island,Cape Bird, Sven Foyn Island and Cape Adare) November to MarchMigrate to northern Pacific
Caspian Tern
Sterna caspia
Widely through New Zealand; coastal spits and shellbanks; some breed inland on river beds and lakeshoresSeptember to JanuaryCoastal New Zealand, southern birds tend to move north
White-fronted Tern
Sterna striata
Coastal New Zealand incl Stewart Island, Chathams, Auckland Islands. Islands of Hauraki Gulf. October to FebruaryMost stay on New Zealand coasts durng winter. Some birds (mostly young) to south-eastern Australia (may to Sept). One of the 'kahawai birds' - often seen feeding with schools of kahawai and other fish
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea
Arctic Northern hemisphere summerSouthern Oceans. A few seen each summer in New Zealand
Antarctic Tern
Sterna vittata
South Cape, Stewart island; NZ Subantarctic Islands; circumpolar subantarctic September to AprilStays close to breeding grounds
Fairy Tern
Sterna nereis
NZ subspecies (endangered) breeds Kaipara Harbour, and Waipu, Mangawhai and Pakiri (occ) coastal Hauraki Gulf; Australia and New CaledoniaNovember to FebruaryGather Kaipara Harbour over winter
Little Tern
Sterna albifrons
Australia and SE AsiaMay to July (SE Asia); September to January (Australia)Seen around NZ coast October to March; coastal Hauraki Gulf (eg Waipu, Mangawhai),Manuaku Harbour & Firth of Thames (eg Miranda)
Grey ternlet
Procelsterna cerulea
Kermadecs in NZ region; tropical and subtropical PacificAugust to FebruaryNorthern NZ from late Dec/very early Jan: Three Kings, Sugarloaf Rock (Poor Knights), Maori Rocks (Mokohinau Group) and Volkner Rocks (Bay of Plenty).
White (Fairy) Tern
Gygis alba
Tropical seas; Kermadec Islands in NZ region.October to MarchOccasionally reaches NZ. Two seen off North Cape (Jan 2004)
Red-tailed Tropicbird
Phaethon rubricauda
Breeds Kermadec Islands (NZ), Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, and many islands in the PacificDecember to AugustGenerally remain at sea while not breeding
A. Gannet
Morus serrator
Many islands and two headlands (eg Muriwai) around NZ Coast; Hauraki Gulf - Sugarloaf & High Peak Rocks (poor Knights), Maori Rocks (Mokohinau Islands) and Broken islands (Great Barrier Island). Southernmost colony Solanders.July to JanuaryMost juveniles to south & eastern Australia.
Pied Shag
Phalacrocorax varius
Colonies in trees along shoreline, estuaries and harbours coastal New Zealand. All yearCoastal New Zealand. Rarely seen inland
Spotted Shag
Stictocarbo punctatus
Southern New Zealand from Wellington southVariable with peaks through year; South Island: September to January Coastal, stay in vicinity of colonies
Stewart Island Shag
Leucocarbo chalconotus
Stewart Island, and Otago CoastAugust to MarchCoastal waters of Otago, Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island
King (Rough-faced) Shag
Leucocarbo carunculatus
Marlborough Sounds onlyMay to NovemberMarlborough Sounds only
Reef Heron
Egretta sacra
Dark phase only in NZ. Rocky shores and cliff-edge veg. Northern NZ and Hauraki Gulf; less common further south. Marlborough Sounds, Catlins Coast & Stewart Island. September to MarchCoastal
White-faced Heron
Ardea novaehollandiae
Open country (nests in trees) and coastal NZ, Chathams. June to FebruaryOnly occasinally reported prior 1935. Now common throughout NZ. Vagrant elsewhere (eg Kermadecs, Snares, Auckland & Campbell Islands)
Shore Plover
Thinornis novaeseelandiae
South East I & Western Reef, Chathams Group with translocated birds and Portland Island (Mahia Peninsula, northern Hawkes Bay). Formerly widespread through coastal NZ. Two birds were at Beehive Island in the Hauraki Gulf*October to FebruarySome birds have been seen away from localities listed.

* The Dept of Conservation, amidst great opposition removed the two birds (both males) from Beehive Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
To have any chance of seeing these birds, birders will have to go the CHATHAM ISLANDS, or Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre to see these special very birds in cages!
NZ Dotterel
Charadrius obscurus
Northern NZ (from Bay of Plenty to Far North); Stewart Island (above bush line). August to FebruaryNZ only. Some stay at breeding places, but most will move to flocking sites (eg Waipu, Omaha, Mangawhai, Whangapoaua, Great Barrier Island)in winter. Stewart Island birds move to Paterson Inlet and cross to Southland.
Bryde's Whale
Balaenoptera edeni
Common Dolphin
Delphinus delphis
Bottle-nosed Dolphin
Tursiops truncatus
Orcinus orca
Long-finned Pilot Whale
Globicephala melas
NZ Fur Seal
Arctocephalus forsteri
Mola mola
Blue Shark
Prionace glauca
Mako Shark
Isurus oxyrinchus
Hammerhead Shark
Sphyrna zygaena
Makaira nigricans
Manta Ray
Mobula japanica
Flying Fish
Fish concentrations

Bookings - please contact us -

Copyright Pterodroma Pelagics and @URL © 2004. All material is protected by New Zealand, US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, included on a web site or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission.   Contact Pterodroma Pelagics for further information.