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..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

Common Diving Petrel

Scientific name:

 Pelecanoides urinatrix urinatrix

Maori Name:

 Kuaka

 

 

Conservation status

 At risk - Relict population

Mainland status:

 NZ coastal waters

Size:

 20cm, 130g

Lifespan:

 Unknown

Breeding:

 August – February

Diet:

 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.