Seabird of the Year??? It is our Fairy Tern!

Tara ItiForest & Bird report that after three weeks of slugging it out with the Fiji petrel, last week the New Zealand fairy tern/tara iti took home the title of 2014 Seabird of the Year. It received 1882 votes, to the Fiji petrel’s 1801, and the little blue penguin’s 563. The full results are on the Seabird of the Year web page.

The fairy tern might be popular, but it’s not populous … there are fewer than 50 left. Hopefully being named Seabird of the Year signals a change in the fairy tern’s fortunes. Surely now New Zealand’s Seabird of the Year couldn’t be allowed to become extinct?

If you are one of those who voted in the Seabird of the Year, then thank you for helping spread the word that New Zealand is a Seabirds Superpower; more than one third of the world’s seabird species spend at least part of their lives above New Zealand waters. Thirty-six of those breed only in New Zealand.

Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year poll will return in 2015.

The Bream Bay News Reports of Tara Iti in Waipu this year

fairy-ternThere are now two fairy tern chicks and two eggs in two nests on the Waipu sandspit.

The chicks hatched out last week, and Fairy Tern protection teams now have an anxious wait of about four weeks until the chicks learn to fly.

Temporary fencing has been put up, so please respect their space, and encourage others too as well

Another five chicks have hatched at Mangawhai.  Thanks to those who helped to make last summer the most successful breeding season since protection began in 1983 with 12 chicks fledging successfully!



  1. Rosemary Neave on December 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    If you are interested in the local seabirds like our other page Waipu River watch

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