TākapuAustralasian Gannet

Conservation status
Doing OK

These dive-bombing daredevils are equipped with bubble-wrapping on their chest and face to protect them from the impact of the water. Also, they have no external nostrils. Instead, their nostrils are in their mouth, and they have transformer eyes that change shape to help them see underwater.

Campaign Manager

Tākapu Torpedoes

These adventure-seeking torpedoes live for the thrill. With dive-bomb speeds reaching up to 100km/hour, one might assume tākapu is the sole inspiration for New Zealand's characteristic adventure-tourism style. And while typical seabird species are limited to drab colours such as black and white (and maybe grey if they're an exciting species), this seabird brings a refreshing pop of bright yellows and blues in order to outshine their less creative sea-faring peers.

"No way," you might be thinking. "This bird's name has a reference to A*stralia - why would any New Zealander campaign for this traitor?" In actuality, 87% of tākapu breeding colonies occur in Aotearoa. Clearly they, like us, know a superior coastline (and country) when they see one.

Backed by a zoology degree and a passion for science communication, my team will campaign to bring this daredevil to victory in the New Zealand Bird of the Year. #TākapuTorpedoesBOTY

Photo: Stefan Marks