24 Nov 2018

Record sightings of world’s rarest seabird on Birding Down Under

The incredibly rare Magenta Petrel in flight

Images (c) D Brown

Our time around the Chatham Islands on Birding Down Under has rewarded us with some exceptional encounters with the Magenta Petrel, also known as the Chatham Island Taiko. With just 19 known burrows it is the world's most endangered seabird, the Taiko Trust has worked tirelessly to help save this species from extinction, and is exceptionally difficult to see.

So when we were able to experience nine sightings in less than 24 hours (more than any previous at sea encounter) it was a cause for celebration. Positioning Spirit of Enderby in the best area offshore with the hope of encountering a bird returning to the island, we were reward with six(!) Magenta Petrel sightings, including two together (possibly the first time multiples have been seen together at sea).

One of the individuals came exceptionally close to the ship, providing superb views. As if this wasn't enough, the following day during our Zodiac cruise of the Mangere Islands we found the brilliant Forbes Parakeet and were farewelled by a further three Magenta Petrels on our departure, providing an unforgettable experience for all.

Forbes Parakeet on the Mangere Island

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