Tag: Marine Birds
The giant petrels are known as the vultures of the Southern Ocean and can be seen scavenging off the coast in Kaikōura. These petrels are a pelagic (oceanic) species of bird. They are the largest of the petrels and there are two different species. The most common species that we see in Kaikōura is the northern giant petrel which can be seen here all year round. Once the winter months arrive we also see the southern giant petrel.
Fully grown Westland petrels can reach 55cm in length and can weigh up 1.5kg. They only breed in an 8km wide strip of forested foothills close to Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island.