Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society (1959) 7: 34- 37

Some notes on the sea-birds and shore-birds of the Inner Hauraki Gulf

Report to Annual Meeting
R. B. Sibson  

[First paragraph...]
The narrow isthmus on which Auckland stands, deeply penetrated by creeks and inlets, and the inner Hauraki Gulf with its many islands and estuaries, are frequented by great numbers of shore-birds and sea-birds, both for breeding and feeding. The region under discussion is situated between other areas which are well-known for the richness of their bird life. Manukau Harbour, to the south-west, and the Firth of Thames, to the south-east, are unrivalled in New Zealand for the number and variety of waders (Charadriiformes)which feed on the eutrophic ooze of their tidal flats. To the north are the numerous outer islands of the Hauraki Gulf on which besides penguins, gulls, terns, shags and gannets, twelve species of petrels (Procellariiformes), some in immense numbers, are known to breed. This is a remarkable concentration for so small an area of ocean and indicative of waters rich in plankton. Many birds from these areas habitually forage in the inner Hauraki Gulf; and under the stress of weather even the more oceanic petrels and shearwaters may enter Rangitoto Channel or Tamaki Strait. For example, driven by a summer gale from the north-east flesh-footed shearwaters have been noted, somewhat incongruously flying over the suburbs of the isthmus from the Pacific to the Tasman.