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Encounter Foundation

Wilson's Storm Petrel


Wilson's storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)

Wilson's Strom Petrel
A remarkable bird, about the size of a sparrow, which migrates from the Antarctic to the Arctic across the endless expanse of the open ocean. Breeds on islands around Antarctica and migrates to the Sub-Arctic waters when finished breeding. One of the most common seabird species in the world, with a population of millions, yet rarely seen because of its tendency to stay far out on the open ocean.

Individual birds or small flocks are likely to be seen off Kaikoura between March and May when the birds are migrating north and from October to December when the storm petrels are returning from the Arctic. Generally seen well offshore, more than 25 miles, although can be seen within 2 to 3 miles of the Kaikoura Coast. Occasional bird has flown ashore at Kaikoura after storms.