A Chatham petrel chick does not move from the burrow until just before fledging, but this one was lifted out to be photographed. When a chick hatches, one parent broods it in the burrow to maintain an even temperature and to fend off predators. Once the chick is big enough to be left alone, its down covering helps keep it warm. Before fledging it develops waterproof feathers. Once reasonably common, this species is now critically endangered with only about 150 breeding pairs.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Don Merton
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