Cape Kidnappers & the Gannett Colony

Mamma Mia this was fun. Cape Kidnappers, so named because of an incident with Captain James Cook, is privately owned. It has a golf course, exclusive lodge, 3000 head of sheep, cattle, and is simply stunning. It also his the world’s biggest colony of gannetts, a beautiful seabird. So we did a “safari” over the thousands of acres to the tip of the cape and the gannett colony. First a couple shots of animals and then a couple galleries.

They have a problem with wild goats, of which we saw none, rabbits and opossums. The latter is a problem over all of New Zealand.

Harrier Hawk

We saw quite a few of these Hawks.

Rabbits are a nuisance

The landscape is beautiful – lush green and then the cliffs which show the layers of buildup over the eons and the earthquake fault lines. Not to mention the South Pacific!

The gannett nest by the thousands here. We are near the end of the season and many have already made the migration to Australia’s great barrier reef. But some still remain. You can see the young speckled birds testing their wings. And the adults raising their heads in a dance to say they are friends. Adults continue to bring seaweed for the nests and to feed the young birds, whose first flight will be to Australia. The wind was howling, and when it does the birds all face the same direction. They are beautiful flyers.
And fishers apparently. They will dive into the water at up to 80 miles an hour going as deep as 30 feet. And then use their webbed feet and wings to go another 60 get down. Amazing!

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