2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

Common Diving Petrel

Scientific name:

 Pelecanoides urinatrix urinatrix

Maori Name:




Conservation status

 At risk - Relict population

Mainland status:

 NZ coastal waters


 20cm, 130g




 August – February


 Small krill and copepods

The Common Diving Petrel has black upperparts and white underparts. The sides of the face, neck and throat are mottled grey and the underwings are smoky grey. The stubby bill is black and the legs and feet are blue. They only call at their breeding colonies and the main calls are a harsh ‘kuaka-did-a-did’ and ‘kuaka’ given by the females only and ‘kooo-ah’ which is only given by the male.

They feed mainly on small krill and copepods.

Breeding occurs in large colonies on many off shore islands from Northland to Stewart Island, The Snares, Antipodes and Auckland Island. In northern New Zealand breeding starts in August and from late September in the subantarctic. The birds return to prepare their burrows from March until the end of May. The single white egg hatches after about 53 days and fledges at 45–59 days old in late November–December in northern New Zealand and in January–February in the subantarctic.

With the spread of introduced predators these birds survive best on islands without mammalian predators. There is a thriving colony of diving petrels on Wooded Island, just off the NE coast of Tiritiri Matangi. This colony was the source for birds that were translocated to Motuora Island from 2008 to 2010. They are also common on Tiritiri Matangi itself and their calls can be heard, during the breeding season, in many parts of the Island, especially on the east coast.

Learn more about the common diving petrel at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photo: Common diving petrel chick, Motuora Island, Kay Milton © 2009.

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G. The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.