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Southern Black Backed Gulls

Birds that can be found in and around Akaroa Harbour 16 May 2017

The White-flippered Penguin

The White-flippered Penguin is one of the smallest penguins in the world. Their colour is blue and grey, which makes them look very similar to their relatives, the Little Penguin. The only difference is they have a white leading edge along their wing. They grow to 30 cm tall and weigh roughly 1.5 kilograms. The White-flippered Penguin is endemic to Canterbury, New Zealand. The only place they are known to breed is Banks Peninsula and Motunau Island, with a total of 4,000 pairs. They feed on small shoaling fish, squid and occasionally eat crustaceans.

White-flippered Penguins

White-fronted Tern

The White-fronted Tern is the most common tern on the New Zealand coastline. They occasionally forage up rivers, but are rarely found far from the coast. The White-fronted Tern is a medium-sized, long-tailed sea tern that is common around New Zealand coasts. It is pale grey above and white below, with a black cap that is separated from the bill by a white band. White-fronted Terns feed on small fish at sea or up rivers. The New Zealand population has declined over the last 40 years.

White-fronted Tern

Pied Shag

This large black-and-white shag is often mistaken for begin a penguin, seen individually or in small groups roosting on rocky headlands, trees or man-made structures. Pied Shags are found to forage and breed primarily around coastal habitats, throughout much of New Zealand. Pied Shags feed mainly on fish which are between 6-15 cm long, and occasionally on crustaceans. The fish they eat are Flounder, Mullet, Eel, Goldfish, Perch, Goatfish, Kahawai, Wrasse and Common Trevally.

Pied Shag

Spotted Shag

Compared with typical cormorants, the Spotted Shag is a light-coloured bird, with a brown back. Spotted Shags nest in colonies of 10-700 pairs, these colonies are generally found on the ledges of coastal cliffs. Their diet consists of small fish and marine invertebrates, including Squid and Plankton. They feed in deep water and have been found 16 km offshore.

Spotted Shag

Buller’s Mollymawk

The Buller’s Mollymawk is one of the more abundant small albatrosses occurring around coastal areas of New Zealand. Their striking black-and-golden-yellow bill and smart black-and-white plumage make them readily identifiable. They love flying behind fishing boats trying to get a free feed.

Southern Black-backed Gull

The Southern Black-backed Gull (or ‘Black-back’) is one of the most abundant and familiar large birds in New Zealand. Adults have a white head and underparts with a black back, yellow bill with red spot near tip of lower mandible, and pale green legs. They can be found throughout most habitats in New Zealand, excluding forest and scrub.

Sea Gulls