Common diving petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix)
One of the smallest seabirds found in New Zealand waters weighing only 130 grams. A very small black and white bird which flies close to the water with rapid wing beats, a buzzing flight giving the appearance of an over-sized bumble bee. Has the ability to fly straight through waves ! Dives into the water whenever threatened by an approaching boat or predatory seabird. Breeds on offshore islands throughout New Zealand. The closest breeding colony to Kaikoura is in the Marlborough Sounds. As there name suggests, diving petrels are excellent divers and use their wings to fly underwater.
Diving petrels are frequently seen off the Kaikoura Coastline during the winter months and are generally solitary, but occasionally small flocks of diving petrels can be found. Diving petrels are generally found at least several miles offshore.