Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

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..

Grey-Faced Petrel

Scientific name:

 Pterodroma macroptera gouldi

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Northern offshore islands, some mainland cliffs & headlands from
 Cape Egmont to Three Kings Islands to Gisborne

Size:  41cm, 550g


 40+ years


 January - June


 Squid, fish and crustaceans

Grey faced petrel - photographer: Emma RossThe Grey-faced Petrel is blackish brown except for the pale grey forehead, sides of the face, chin and throat. The black bill is stout, the legs and feet are black and the wings are long and narrow. The call is ‘o-hi’ or ‘o-hoe’, uttered at dusk as they fly over their breeding colonies. Birds on the ground or in burrows utter a loud ‘or-wik’ and ‘si-si-si’.

They feed at night, mainly on squid and some fish and crustaceans.  

Breeding takes place in winter. Adults return to clean out their burrows and court in March. After a long pre-laying exodus of two months, the females return and in late June or early July lay one white egg in a burrow 0.5-2 metres long. Both sexes incubate for spells of several days and the egg hatches between mid-August and mid-September after 51–58 days. The chick is fed at the nest for several months and finally departs from about December to late January, at around 118 days old. Young birds can return to the breeding colony from the age of three years onwards, but most do not breed until they are over seven years old. 

Grey-faced petrels breed on Tiritiri Matangi and can often be heard at night during the breeding season.

Find out more about the grey-faced petrel at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Emma Ross ©

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.