Story: Petrels

Chatham petrel chick

Chatham petrel chick

A Chatham petrel chick does not move from the burrow until just before fledging, but this one was lifted out to be photographed. When a chick hatches, one parent broods it in the burrow to maintain an even temperature and to fend off predators. Once the chick is big enough to be left alone, its down covering helps keep it warm. Before fledging it develops waterproof feathers. Once reasonably common, this species is now critically endangered with only about 150 breeding pairs.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10057167
Photograph by Don Merton

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Petrels - Breeding', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

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