Cook's petrelTītī

Conservation status
In some trouble

Despite their small stature, Cook’s petrels or “Cookies” make long journeys over hundreds or even thousands of kilometres to forage for a feed of squid in deep waters. They breed on Hauturu Little Barrier Island and Aotea Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and on Whenua Hou Codfish Island off Rakiura. Cook's petrels once bred on forested mountains and ranges across Aotearoa, but introduced predators decimated mainland populations. The Hauraki Gulf Cook’s petrels must cross the Auckland isthmus to reach their foraging grounds in the Tasman Sea, a perilous journey with city lights that can disorient the birds, leading them to crash land in urban areas. 

Once the breeding season is over, Cook’s petrels embark on an even more epic trans-Pacific journey, with Hauraki Gulf birds travelling to the North Pacific off California, and Codfish birds heading to South America.  

Campaign Manager

BirdCare Aotearoa

BirdCare Aotearoa

Kia ora, My name is Cookie and I’m a Cook’s petrel (tītī) - a little seabird with webbed feet, whitish-grey and black feathers, and a black hooked bill. I forage for food at sea and return to my island home to raise a family. The places I call home include Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island), Aotea (Great Barrier Island) and Whenua Hou (Codfish Island). From March to April some of us travel across Auckland and many of us (including myself sadly) become disoriented by the bright city lights. We crash into buildings or land on the ground, helpless and scared, and may be attacked by other animals or hit by cars. You might see me and my friends waddling around the city awkwardly because we can’t take flight from the ground. But good news! Many kind people take us to BirdCare Aotearoa where we are cared for and released back into the wild. Please help support me and my friends by voting #VoteCookie for Bird of the Year 2022.

Cook's petrel

Photo: Edin Whitehead No further use without permission.