14 Aug 2012

Two native birds winter in Australia

11:15 am on 14 August 2012

Scientists have discovered two native New Zealand birds have winter holidays in Australia.

NIWA scientists made the discovery by attaching geo-locator tags to grey-headed and Campbell's albatrosses that nest only on Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean.

They have found that in winter the birds fly more than 7000 kilometres to the oceans west and south of Australia.

There, they spend four months eating to build up the reserves needed to lay eggs and rear their chicks.

The scientists say the discovery will help them understand the threats posed to the birds by fishing and other human activities.