ON THIS PAGE YOU WILL FIND MOLLYMAWKS AND ALBATROSS.
SCROLL DOWN TO FIND: BULLER'S MOLLYMAWK; INDIAN YELLOW-NOSED MOLLYMAWK; GREY-HEADED MOLLYMAWK;SALVIN'S MOLLYMAWK; WHITE-CAPPED MOLLYMAWK; SHY MOLLYMAWK; NZ BLACK-BROWED MOLLYMAWK;BLACK-BROWED MOLLYMAWK.
NORTHERN ROYAL AND SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS; WANDERING ALBATROSS; GIBSON'S WANDERING ALBATROSS; SNOWY ALBATROSS
MOLLYMAWKS and ALBATROSS
BULLER'S MOLLYMAWK / Torea-teoteo Thalassarche bulleri
Medium sized, 80cm, with white body, black upperwings and white underwings. The head is grey with a silvery-white patch on the forehead. The bill is black with a prominent yellow culmen and base. Legs and feet are bluish. A locally common endemic they breed annually at Snares Islands and the Solanders. It is an avid follower of vessels and a vorocious consumer of fish offal. Many of these birds die in trawl and longline fishing.
INDIAN YELLOW-NOSED MOLLYMAWK Thalassarche carteri
The smallest Mollymawk, distinguished by its slender silhouette and narrow, dark underwing margins. The head is white and the bill appears black and slender. However, close up the yellow culmen and tip are distinct. An uncommon visitor, sometimes associated with Australasian Gannets. They breed annually on four island groups in the Indian Ocean and is a regular visitor to Northland's east coast, Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty in Winter. They sometimes occur very close inshore. Unfortunately they form a significant bycatch in the southern blue-fin tuna fishery.
GREY-HEADED MOLLYMAWK Thalassarche chrysostoma
A medium sized Mollymawk with a grey head and paler forehead. The bill is glossy black with a bright yellow culmen and base. The body is white and the upperwings black, the underwings white with broad black margins, wider on the leading edge. A locally common native, they have a widespread breeding distribution. In the NZ region they breed biennially only on Campbell Island. They are a regular visitor to South Island and Stewart Island waters. They sometimes gather around stationery fishing boats, and are threatened by long-line fisheries.
SALVIN'S MOLLYMAWK Thalassarche salvini
A medium sized Mollymawk 85cm, with white belly, chest and rump, white underwings with a narrow black margin and distinctive black 'thumb mark' where the anterior underwing meets the body. The head is greyish-brown with white forehead. The bill is bluish-grey with yellowish culmen and base. The tip of the upper mandible is yellow while the lower mandible has a diagnostic black tip (unguis). They breed annually at Western Chain Bounty and Snares Islands and are frequent visitors to coastal NZ waters, ranging as far as South America and southern Africa. They can be seen in coastal waters from Northland south to Foveaux Strait. They are keen vessel followers.
WHITE-CAPPED MOLLYMAWK Thalassarche steadi
A large Mollymawk, 90cm, with white belly, chest and rump, white underwings with a narrow black margin. There is a distinctive 'thumb mark' where the anterior underwing meets the body. There is a faint grey smudge on the cheek. The bill is bluish-grey with a yellow tip and pale yellow culmen. A locally common endemic, they breed annually at Auckland and Antipodes Islands and are a frequent visitor to NZ coastal waters. They follow vessels keenly and may be at risk as bycatch in tuna and squid-trawl fisheries.
SHY MOLLYMAWK Thalassarche cauta
Along with the White-capped Mollymawk, this is the largest of the Mollymawks. The chest, belly and rump are white and the underwings white with a narrow black margin. A distinctive black 'thumb mark' where the anterior underwing meets the body. There is a faint greyish smudge on the cheek. The bill is pale yellowish-grey with a yellow tip. An uncommon visitor, they breed annually on three small islands off the Tasmanian coast. They are an occasional visitor to NZ waters and are keen vessel followers, congregating around fishing boats in large flocks. It is often a frequent bycatch of longline fisheries.
NZ BLACK-BROWED / CAMPBELL MOLLYMAWK / Torea Thalassarche impavada
A medium sized Mollymawk, 87cm, with white body and head, black upperwings and white underwings with a diagnostic broad black margin. The adult bill is yellowish-orange with a reddish tip. The legs and feet are pale bluish-white. They have obvious black eyebrows and at close range a honey-coloured iris can be seen. A common endemic, they breed only on Campbell Island. In Winter they range widely throughout NZ coastal waters. They are very rare on a world scale and recorded as bycatch in tuna fisheries in NZ and Australia. They are keen followers of vessels.
BLACK-BROWED MOLLYMAWK / Torea Thalassarche melanophrys
Medium sized, 90cm, with a white body and head, black upperwings and white underwings which have broad black margins. The bill is yellowish-orange with a reddish tip. Legs and feet are pale bluish-white. Their prominent black eyebrows and dark iris makes them appear to be scowling. They are a common native, and probably the most commonly seen Mollymawk in northern NZ waters. They breed annually on islands throughout the sub-antarctic region and in NZ breed on Campbell, Antipodes and Snars Islands. Common in NZ coastal waters in Winter.
NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS / Toroa-whakaingo Diomedia sanfordi
Very large, 115cm. The body and back are white with black upperwings. The feet are pinkish and the bill flesh-coloured with a black cutting edge to the upper mandible. A locally common endemic. They breed biennially at Taiaroa Head near Dunedin and also at the Chatham Islands, although climate changes and erosion are causing lower breeding success in the Chathams.
SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS Diomedea epomorphora
Very large, 115cm. Body white with white upperwings which have black primary feathers and blackish bars on the primary coverts. This gives a 'dusty' appearance to the upperwings. The bill is flesh-coloured with a black cutting edge to the upper mandible. The feet are pinkish. The Northern Albatross has almost entirely black upperwings, whereas the Southern has much whiter upperwings. A locally common endemic, the breed biennially at Auckland and Campbell Islands.
WANDERING ALBATROSS / Toroa Diomedea antipodensis
Very large, 115cm, this is the darkest of the Wandering Albatrosses. The adult male has a white body and black upperwings. Females and young birds may have entirely dark bodies.An uncommon endemic, they breed biennially on Antipodes Islands with a few pairs breeding on Campbell Island. Non-breeding birds range widely through the South Pacific. They are a frequent follower of vessels and are known to be a frequent bycatch in the NZ long-line fisheries.
GIBSON'S WANDERING ALBATROSS / Toroa Diomedea gibsoni
Very large, 115cm, with a variable plumage, depending on the age of the bird. The adult has a white body and black upperwings. Young birds can be entirely dark brown with a white face-mask and pale underwings. An uncommon endemic they breed biennially on Auckland Islands. Non-breeding birds range south as far as the pack ice and north into the sub-tropics. They are common on trans-Tasman shipping routes, and are keen followers of vessels. They are known to be a significant bycatch in long-line tuna fisheries in NZ waters.
SNOWY ALBATROSS / Toroa Diomedea exulans
Very large, 120cm, this is the largest of the Albatrosses. The adult has a white body and black upperwings. The black wings become paler with age and older birds can be almost all white. A common visitor, they breed biennially on Macquarie Island in the Australian sub-antarctic region and on islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Non-breeding birds range widely through southern oceans and are a common visitor to NZ waters. They follow vessels, and are threatened by the long-line fishing in southern oceans.