Story: Seabirds – overview

Snares crested penguins

Snares crested penguins

In this painting, ‘The Snares’, by Charles Nathaniel Worsley, a mass of Snares crested penguins climb from their landing site up to their nests in the forest. Worlsley accompanied the governor of New Zealand, Lord Ranfurly, and Lady Ranfurly as illustrator on their tour of the subantarctic islands in 1902. The Snares Islands are crowded with seabirds: they are predator free and ideally located close to oceanic features that enhance food supplies. They are near the edge of a shallow plateau that is swept by currents rising from deeper waters to the west, bringing nutrients to the surface and making the water fertile for the plant plankton which form the basis of the food chain. They are also located within the nutrient-rich subtropical front or convergence, where cooler subantarctic waters meet warmer subtropical waters.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-566-f-003
Watercolour by Charles Nathaniel Worsley

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Seabirds – overview - Living at sea', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2021)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015