Cook’s Petrel


I have to admit I didn’t take this picture but the interesting thing is where I found it – the Audubon field guide to birds of North America. Cook’s petrels roam far and wide over the eastern Pacific Ocean and up the west coast of North America. But during the summer they come back home to the only places they breed; Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands north of Auckland, and Codfish Island in the south. And by luck they fly over Whangaparaoa Peninsula (where I live) at night journeying between their nesting island and their feeding grounds in the Tasman Sea. I hear their call, a rapid kek kek kek (NZ Birds Online describes it as a goat-like bleating) often but certainly not every night. Unfortunately, like moths they are distracted by lights and a few get caught out by our street lights. My daughter once brought home a dead one she found in the street – a beautiful bird seen up close. So anywhere from Auckland north keep an ear out after dark and you may just hear your own Cook’s petrels.


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