PLEASE! If you see any mistakes, I'm 100% sure that I have wrongly identified some birds.
So please let me know on my guestbook at the bottom of the page
New Zealand Fairy Tern
The pictures are too bad to have normally made the bird to my list of observed birds. But as it is such a rare bird we were lucky to have seen it. Not many remains in the world
The New Zealand Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis davisae), also known as the tara-iti, is a small tern which breeds on the lower half of the Northland Peninsula of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the smallest tern breeding in New Zealand and is a subspecies of the fairy tern.
Breeding is limited to four regular sites: Waipu, Mangawhai, Pakiri and the South Kaipara Head. The wintering range of the birds extends over the Kaipara Harbour. Outside of the breeding season fairy terns form flocks on the harbour, often around Tapora.
The number of birds plummeted to three pairs in 1983 but intensive conservation efforts were put in place and numbers increased so that in 1998 the population totalled some 25 to 30 birds with 10 to 12 breeding pairs spread over three breeding sites. Numbers have continued to increase and by 2006 had reached 30 to 40 individuals including 12 breeding pairs. Five years later, numbers have increased again to 40 to 45 individuals and around 10 breeding pairs.
With a total population of fewer than fifty individuals including just ten breeding pairs, the IUCN rates this species as "Critically Endangered". A New Zealand government source considers that this bird is "probably New Zealand's most endangered indigenous breeding bird." It nests on sand and shell banks just above high tide mark and nesting is highly vulnerable to introduced predators, domestic animals, storms, very high tides and disturbance by humans on foot and in vehicles on the beach. The bird is further threatened by a proposed residential subdivision at Te Arai, next to one of its prime breeding sites.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there