Tākapu – Muriwai

It was such a beautiful winter’s day that it was a waste to sit inside at the computer. The west coast called and we headed for Muriwai, home to one of New Zealand’s mainland gannet nesting colonies. The Maori name for these birds is tākapu.

It’s a bit of a climb to reach the viewing platforms. You can smell the colony before you see the birds. Just now the birds are arriving back for the nesting season and the early birds were claiming the prime sites. Males arrive first and chose a spot. When their partner arrives they get busy setting up home, bringing gifts of grasses and weeds to create a soft bed for their egg. These beautiful birds swooped in and their gifts were greeted with cries of delight. Some climbed up the rock to tug at the coastal vegetation and remove beakfuls of greenery for their nest.

Activity will increase over the next few months as the birds lay eggs, eggs hatch and chicks need feeding. A great place to visit and well worth the climb.


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