Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Northern Giant Petrel?

It turns out the dead whale I photographed yesterday was a baby sperm whale. Perhaps the victim of an orca attack?

I was looking through my photos tonight when I remembered another couple of photos I had taken when we first got to the beach. As we jumped down the sand dune I saw a large dark albatross-like bird flying along above the surf. I only had seconds to snap these two photos and didn't even set my exposures so the quality is pretty bad. I have done a little research and have decided it may be a Northern Giant Petrel. The exterior tube-like nostrils place it in the petrel family and it was a very large bird. I am surprised to see one here in the Bay of Plenty but I suspect it was because of the whale as they commonly feed off dead sea mammals. If anyone can positively identify this bird can you please let me know and I'd love to know how rare (or common) they are around Whakatane.

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