Gannets of Muriwai

  • Photographer
    Denise Batchelor
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Date of Photograph
    20/12/2022 - 26/01/2023

On the west coast of Aotearoa NZ, on a knoll above the beach, Muriwai’s gannet colony resides. Home to approximately 1200 pairs, their fledglings migrate to Australia after 4 months, returning 3-7 years later to raise their own brood. With a wingspan of 2 meters these graceful seabirds glide on the wind, but with scant room between nests, landings can prove tricky. In Feb.2023, as fledglings were reaching maturity, cyclone Gabrielle hit. How many birds successfully migrated is unknown, but revisiting weeks later, multiple deceased birds could be found at the high tide mark, tangled in debris.

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