Observations of black and white storm petrels in the Hauraki Gulf, November 2003 - June 2005: Were they of New Zealand storm petrels?
|Title||Observations of black and white storm petrels in the Hauraki Gulf, November 2003 - June 2005: Were they of New Zealand storm petrels?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||Gaskin, C, Baird, K|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand storm petrel, observations, Storm petrel|
We observed black and white-plumaged storm petrels on 27 seabird-watching trips to the outer Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, November 2003 - June 2005. We studied their plumage characteristics, behaviour and seasonal occurrence: the birds had common plumage characteristics and sightings of them were concentrated in the outer Hauraki Gulf from October to March and further offshore in April-May. Their presence in the Hauraki Gulf coincided with summer breeding of other seabirds, in particular white-faced storm petrels (Pelagodroma marina). Their pattern of occurrence off northern New Zealand suggests the birds may be breeding in the Hauraki Gulf; the Mokohinau Islands, rid of rats (Rattus exulans) 15 years ago, is a potential breeding site In our view these black and white storm petrels do not conform to descriptions of any extant species known from New Zealand waters, and, consequently, we speculate that our observations may have been of New Zealand storm petrels (Pealeornis maoriana Mathews 1932), a species known from only three specimens collected in the 19th century.