Petrels are a medium-sized bird, characterised by united nostrils with medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. The petrel is dominant in the Southern Oceans, but not in the Northern Hemisphere.
The word petrel comes from the Latin name for the Christian Saint Peter, and refers to the habits of certain species to hover just above the ocean waves, with their feet barely touching the water, thus giving an appearance of walking on water, as Peter is said to have done.
In Kaikoura we have fourteen Petrel varieties.
Recent Bird Sightings
With around 150 species of birds recorded here so far, Kaikoura is one of New Zealand's top birding destinations. The wonderful array of seabirds just offshore are the jewel in the crown with five varieties of Great Albatross, nine varieties of the smaller Lesser Albatross, seven varieties of Shearwaters, fourteen Petrel varieties, and several other seabird varies such as Shags, Prions, Penguins, Gulls and Terns.