Sea Birds of Kaikōura
While our tours mainly focus on viewing sperm whales – year round residents off the Kaikōura coastline, we also can view throughout our tours a diverse array of seabirds. Sightings ranging from albatross, petrels, shearwaters, terns and gulls. Kaikōura is home to more seabird species in a small area to anywhere else in New Zealand. Amazing!
One of the reasons for such a large number of different types of seabirds in Kaikōura is the deep underwater trench that runs so close inshore – the Kaikōura Canyon. Upwellings of cold nutrient rich water move along the base of the trench towards the coast, it then begins to rise, bringing with it nutrients from the deep ocean which then encourages a food chain which is constantly being replenished and enables us to view whales, dolphins, seals and marine birds on our tours.
Here are some images taken recently by one of our crew (Jaime Brown) of seabirds during one of our tours. Magnificent creatures that are truly magical to watch whether it be catching the updraft of wind off the sea swell, feasting of pieces of squid or fish left behind on the surface or even just at rest.