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Wildlife of New Zealand

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Window on the Southern Ocean - the seabirds of Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand's south Island is a special place to see pelagic seabirds. This is because of the Kermadec Trench, formed by the subduction of Pacific plate under the Australian Plate which lies a few km offshore. This brings up cold, nutrient rich water, with fish, close to the shore. It attracts the seabirds of the Southern Ocean. Here we get close up to Great Albatross and Giant Petrels. Among the birds featured in this film are Northern Giant Petrel, Gibson's (Wandering) Albatross, Cape Petrel, Westland Petrel (Taiko), Salvin's Mollymawk, Southern Royal Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel. To give a point of scale the Giant petrels have a wingspan of about 2m, the large albatross up to 3.5m.

Thanks to Albatross Encounter of Kaikoura for making this trip possible.

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