Rare sea-bird visit for coastal Taranaki

A beautiful sea-bird was a surprise find for Towards Predator-Free Taranaki Project Manager Toby Shanley.

The ōi or grey-faced petrel was found wandering along Ahu Ahu road, near Oakura, one evening last month.

“There were two birds on or near the road and quite a few more swooping along the cliffs overhead” Mr Shanley says.

“I’d heard them recently in the evening so I suspected they were nesting nearby, but I was surprised to see one walking in the middle of the road. 

This ōi or grey-faced petrel was found wandering along Ahu Ahu road, near Oakura

"There is only one mainland colony of ōi known of in Taranaki at Rapanui, so having another mainland colony would be really exciting,” Mr Shanley says.

“This is another sign that predator control in our community is making a difference thanks to residents”.

The sleek sea birds and their chicks are especially vulnerable to stoats. They’re defenceless and only come on land when they’re breeding, nesting in burrows underground until their young are old enough to fly to sea.”

Help seabirds like the ōi or grey-faced Petrel and other native wildlife in the area by joining the community effort to trap rats and stoats, or report suspected possums in the Kaitake-Oākura area as part of Towards Predator-Free Taranaki – the region-wide project supporting native wildlife and plants by removing rats, possums and stoats.

Call 0800 736 222 to report a suspected possum in the area or you can show us where you've heard or seen signs of a possum in Kaitake-Oākura here:  www.trc.govt.nz/possum(external link)