New Zealand seabird news

This video from New Zealand says about itself:

6 May 2012

A kakapo named Crusty Bum has joined seven other kakapo on Little Barrier Island, north of Auckland.

From BirdLife:

27 Mar 2017

Lessons from Little Barrier Island

Alanna Matamaru-Smith, from our Cook Islands’ BirdLife Partner Te Ipukarea Society finds out more about seabird conservation during a recent visit to Little Barrier, an island off the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Alanna Matamaru-Smith, from our Cook Islands’ BirdLife Partner Te Ipukarea Society finds out more about seabird conservation during a recent visit to Little Barrier Island, off the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

I’d never been to an island that was solely dedicated to being a nature reserve, but once I landed on Little Barrier Island, known as Hauturu in Māori language, it didn’t take long to realise I was in a Garden of Eden. Straight away I could see kākā and kākāriki flying overhead, tūī and bellbirds trying to out-sing each other, and kōkako bouncing across the ground nearby.

In the Cook Islands the closest we have to a nature reserve is Suwarrow, our national park, which is is 825km north-west of Rarotonga and home to millions of seabirds, thousands of huge coconut crabs, hundreds of sharks, and rare species of turtles. Suwarrow was predator-free until last year when one of the rangers noticed rats on one of the islets (Motu Tou).

A team is to return there this year to complete a rat eradication programme. Back on Hauturu, my first week involved helping Dan Burgin, of Wildlife Management International, and Leigh Joyce, DOC’s assistant ranger on Hauturu, conduct a population survey on the taiko/Black Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni.

I got a real hands-on experience holding these big seabirds and carefully learnt how to direct them in and out of their burrows. After handling the bird, with Dan banding it, we checked its nest for eggs or chicks. My second week involved a New Zealand Storm Petrel project with the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust.

It was interesting to see how these birds were caught through the use of high beam lights, mesmerising the small petrel towards the ground. I was told back at home, old mamas on Mauke, one of our outer Cook Islands, used this technique too, but that was for chickens!

I had the job of placing captured birds into their new artificial burrows. Walking by myself in the dark forest to the burrows some 200m away, I saw what I thought was a kiwi but it turned out to be a kākāpō right there in the middle of the track. We both stood still for a good eight seconds before the kākāpō realised I had spotted it and headed off into the nearby bush.

After that, I had a lot more helpers join me on my walks to the burrows! Having arrived back home, I’m looking forward to utilising my skills learnt on Hauturu. For instance (funding dependent), I hope to work on a new project surveying and monitoring the herald petrel population on Rarotonga.

Little is known about this species, which is a major obstacle to developing a conservation plan and starting predator control work. There has been little recent activity in terms of seabird projects being conducted in the Cook Islands. So, with my new passion and drive for seabird conservation, I hope to jump-start a bit more excitement within this area, especially among our young people.


BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership, with 120 partners worldwide. BirdLife’s Pacific Partnership includes national conservation groups from New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Palau, and Australia.

The Pacific has more threatened bird species per unit area of land, or per person, than anywhere else in the world. There are 34 critically endangered bird species in the region that are on the brink of extinction, with many more edging closer to being wiped out every year. Do you want to help? Head to our Support Us page.

Bluethroat, avocets and godwits

This 2014 video is about Polders Poelgeest nature reserve in the Netherlands and its bird life.

I went there again on 26 March 2017.

Near the entrance, grey lag geese and tufted ducks swimming.

Black-headed gulls. A coot on the bank. Northern lapwings flying.

On top of the windmill, great cormorants resting.

Canada geese.

Many jackdaws flying.

A swimming great crested grebe in the southern lake.

In the northern lake, over a hundred black-tailed godwits standing; sometimes flying around. Probably just returned from Africa. Good to see them back!

Three shelducks. Shoveler ducks.

Mute swans. A gadwall couple.

Two Egyptian geese land.

Two avocets.

This is an avocet video.

In the eastern part of the lake, near the railway, many teal whistling softly. A male reed bunting sings. Chiffchaff sound.

A snipe. Good at hiding, but we still see it.

A grey heron. A moorhen swims.

A northern lapwing drives a magpie away.

A mallard couple. A chaffinch sings.

We go back. Along the west side of the southern lake, barnacle geese. And oystercatchers.

Finally, a special bird. A male bluethroat, probably just returned from spring migration, sings in a reedbed.

This is a bluethroat video.

Lumpsucker fish guards eggs, video

This 21 Mach 2017 video shows a male lumpsucker fish guarding eggs. He moves his fins to provide the eggs with oxygen.

Diver Bert Peters made this video in the Oosterschelde estuary in Zeeland province in the Netherlands..

Green woodpecker hiding, video

This 17 March 2017 video shows a green woodpecker hiding behind a tree.

Jan Gorel made this video near Hengelo in Overijssel province in the Netherlands.

Black-tailed godwits are back

This 17 March 2017 video from Biesbosch national park in the Netherlands shows many black-tailed godwits, back from wintering in Africa. Also, a few gadwall ducks.

Red squirrel collects nesting material

In this 14 March 2017 video, a red squirrel collects nesting material.

Johan de Jong made this video in his garden in the Netherlands.

Great crested grebes in love on video

This 14 March 2017 video shows a great crested grebe couple in love. They dance, while offering each other water plants.

Emmanuël Samuël Wijman from the Netherlands made this video.