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Ten Year Anniversary! Our role in the rediscovery of the New Zealand Storm-petrel: On 25th January 2003 a Wrybill Birding Tours (Brent Stephenson & Sav Saville) pelagic trip from Whitianga, North Island, New Zealand, encountered and photographed a 'streaky' black and white storm-petrel (Saville et al. 2003). After much discussion over the internet, Alan Tennyson, curator at Te Papa and expert on New Zealand's extinct birds, suggested the storm-petrel could be the thought to be extinct New Zealand Storm-petrel. Stephenson and Saville were convinced. There were no further sightings until, on 17th November 2003, Bob Flood and Bryan Thomas became the first people to locate and positively identify a population of New Zealand Storm-petrels 2 km north of Little Barrier island. They photographed and videod (shown here) about 20 of them in a morning drifting and chumming off Little Barrier (see Flood 2003). These two sightings and the rediscovery of the New Zealand Storm-petrel are detailed in Stephenson et al. (2008). This clip shows the rediscovery video footage of 17th November 2003.

References Flood, R. L. 2003. The New Zealand Storm-petrel is not extinct. Birding World 16: 479--482. Saville, S., Stephenson, B., & Southey, I. 2003. A possible sighting of an 'extinct' bird -- the New Zealand Storm-petrel. Birding World 16: 173-175. Stephenson, B., Flood, R. L., Thomas, B., Saville, S. 2008. Rediscovery of the New Zealand Storm-petrel (Pealeornis maoriana Matthews, 1932): two sightings that revised our knowledge of storm-petrels. Notornis 55: 77--83.

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  • New Zealand Storm Petrel

    The New Zealand storm petrel (Fregetta maorianus), is a storm petrel in the Hydrobatidae family...

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