Sketch biologizing on the seabird-rich Poor Knights Islands! That's a shearwater chick I'm holding (see bottom left image), which one obtains by lying face-down in the dirt and sticking one's arm down a burrow (see bottom right image), while hoping not to get bitten by a lurking tuatara (see previous Instagram post). I sketched a little story about the trip—link in bio—but really you have to hear this place to believe it. Luckily, RNZ's Alison Ballance came with us. Here's her podcast, in which I dubiously make my second-ever appearance on national New Zealand radio: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018639901/seabird-hotspot-the-poor-knights-islands. Photos: Alison Ballance/RNZ.
Sketched in the pre-dawn darkness, by headlamp light: Buller’s shearwaters on the Poor Knights Islands, the only place in the world where these seabirds nest. They crash-landed through the forest canopy at dusk, wriggled into their burrows to feed their chicks, and for the last several hours have been hanging out on the forest floor making a ruckus around our tents. At first light they’ll fly back to sea in a mass exodus. The island will suddenly become quiet. (Then the bellbirds will start up with the dawn chorus.)
Another music video/science documentary mashup, this time involving falling off a cliff...
Ever wondered what it's like to be jumped by a 700-pound endangered marine mammal? Find out in the latest installment of Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin. Also featured: shipwrecks, near-shipwrecks, and albatrosses in peril.