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A Fishers Guide to NZ Coastal Seabirds

New Zealand is rightly called the seabird capital of the world, as nearly a quarter of the world's seabirds breed in this region.

Seabirds are actually unusual in the bird world. Worldwide, 96% of all bird species live on land, and only 4 % are classed as seabirds - birds that get all or almost all of their food at sea.

Over millions of years, breeding seabirds have built up New Zealand's soils with their droppings, dead young and egg shells. We have them to thank for our nutrient-rich soils today.

Our seabirds range from the majestic albatross to the little penguin, and shearwaters that can dive up to 60m below the sea.

This guide takes a closer look at 26 different types of seabirds that you might see in New Zealand's waters.

In this companion guide to A Fishers Guide to NZ Seabirds you can learn about additional seabirds that you may see in New Zealand's EEZ.


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