Cooks Petrel

Cook’s Petrel – a fascinating bird seen on Auckland Sea Kayak tours


Auckland Sea Kayaks operates our kayak tours in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, which is a world class kayak tour location.


From our former blog posts you will know you can find a huge diversity of marine species.


Many of the islands are bird sanctuaries, holding critically endangered species like for example the Cook’s petrel.


The Cook’s petrel is a seabird and also a member of the gadfly petrels. It is one of the smallest petrels and it’s colouration is typical of gadfly petrels: pale grey upperparts with a dark grey “M” on the wings and white underparts.


The Cook’s petrel feeds mainly on fish, squid and crustaceans, using his tubular nostrils to locate the food and also it’s nest sites in the dark.


It nests in burrows and rock crevices, preferring sites on thickly forested ridges and their breeding season is between October and May.


While the species was formerly more numerous, it is now decreasing more and more because dogs, rats and cats are attacking the birds nests and burrows, preying on eggs.


Although the population of Cook’s Petrels gets less, on our Kayak tours we still see them sometimes flying above us.