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..

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..

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.