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Grey-faced Petrel


Grey-faced petrel (Pterodroma macroptera)

Grey-faced Petrel
Otherwise known as the North Island muttonbird. One of the five most common seabirds breeding in the New Zealand region. Common around the North Island and Tasman Sea. Some colonies are still on the North Island, with a colony at Mount Maunganiui. Many other colonies have been wiped out by rats. A medium sized dark petrel. Flies higher above the water than the sooty shearwater, with a distinctive rounded head. Feeds at night on small squid.

A visitor from the North Island to the waters off Kaikoura. Generally seen off Kaikoura in the spring and summer months. Usually seen alone. Small groups seen around rafts of floating kelp, usually found well offshore, but once again, in ceratin conditions can be seen within a relatively close distance (2 miles) of the Kaikoura Peninsula.