Takāpu (Australasian gannet) in the Hauraki Gulf

Nigel Adams (School of Environmental and Animal Sciences, Unitec)

The coastal waters of the northern parts of New Zealand are the hunting ground for one of our most visible seabird predators of this ecosystem: the Tākapu or Australasian gannet (Morus serrator). After a short winter wandering more widely from their colonies, birds return to nest and breed.

The Hauraki Gulf , between the Mokohinau Islands to the north and the bottom of the Firth of Thames to the south, has a particularly high concentration of colonies. Every day during the summer, flotillas of gannets take off from their colonies in search of food. They spread out across the gulf, dramatically falling out of the sky to dive-bomb their prey.

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