Search Results for: harrow

Congratulation to Patron Geoff Harrow for a well deserved honour

Announced today that Hutton’s Sheartwater Charitable Trust founder and patron Geoff Harrow has received the QSM for services to mountaineering and conservation.

Well done Geoff – an award much deserved, in recognition of outstanding achievement.

Chairman Ted Howard on behalf of all trustees.

Geoff holding a hutton's chick in the new colony he was foundational in building.

Geoff holding a hutton’s chick in the new colony he was foundational in building.

Geoff Harrow – 50 Years of Hutton’s shearwater

50 Year Anniversary – 21 February 2015, Kaikoura Town Hall.

50 years ago on 21st February, in the rugged Seaward Kaikoura mountains, Trust Patron Geoff Harrow laid hands on the first carcass of what Canterbury Museum then went on to conclude was a Hutton’s shearwater. And so the journey began – Geoff has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to learning about this endangered species and ensuring their survival, despite the probability at the start of almost certain extinction. What an incredible man, what an incredible story.






Seabirds beyond the Mountain Crest – Richard Cuthbert

The history, natural history and conservation of Hutton’s shearwater.

Seabirds Beyond the Mountain Crest tells the fascinating story of New Zealand’s endemic Hutton’s shearwater, a species that breeds only at two remote locations, high in the Kaikoura Mountains. Amateur ornithologist Geoff Harrow is the person most closely associated with the story of Hutton’s shearwater, for it was Geoff who discovered the two remaining nesting sites in the 1960s. For five decades he visited the mountains whenever he could to observe and record the birds, and to encourage the Department of Conservation and its predecessors to take steps to conserve this endangered species.

As a result, scientist Richard Cuthbert was to spend three years living with 200,000 Hutton’s shearwaters and their neighbours, studying their behaviour, observing their interactions, measuring and recording facts and figures to build a detailed picture of why and how these birds had survived. The discoveries over time of Richard and his co-workers turned received wisdom on its head and revealed a whole new predator story.

Richard’s beautifully written, witty account – of the challenge and exasperation, the heartbreak and hardship, and the sheer joy of conservation fieldwork in a remote environment – is beautifully interwoven with other fascinating stories – of the ‘discovery’ of the species by nineteenth-century scientists and collectors, and Geoff Harrow’s discovery of the nesting grounds and subsequent long involvement with this species. Seabirds Beyond the Mountain Crest is a delightful and highly entertaining read.


We have 7 Hutton’s shearwater chicks at the Kaikoura Peninsula/Te Rae O Atiu colony this season and have now begun advertising these for sponsorship on TradeMe. TradeMe listings will also be shared via our Facebook page. You can sponsor a 2015/16 chick for a one-off $150 donation, which will provide you progress from year 1 to 5, and include naming rights. We also have 2014/15 chicks that are still available for sponsorship.

2015/16 chick sponsorships:
#41 – Sponsored by Lorna Deppe
#42 – Sponsored by Caleb Armstrong
#45 – Sponsored by Geoff Harrow
#46 – Sponsored by Carol Howard
#59 – Sponsored by Jeremy and Ilana Miller
#70 – Sponsored by Blair Rowe
#72 – Available on TradeMe NOW



Newsletter – Issue 13 – June 2014

  • Celebration
  • Hutton’s history with Geoff Harrow
  • Wanted: New Trustees
  • Crash landers and X19805
  • Population estimation
  • Education into the community
  • Te Rae o Atiu / Kaikoura Peninsula colony report

Newsletter – Issue 12 – February 2014

  • End of an era
  • Te Rae O Atiu/Kaikōura Peninsula Colony Report
  • Trust to learn from Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust
  • Coverham shearwaters
  • Our Kaumatua – Geoff Harrow
  • Seabirds, Shearwaters Science & Sea Week
  • Recent education
  • Project funding

HSCT newsletter – Issue 12

The Mystery Bird – Documentary

The Mystery Bird is a documentary film on the endangered Hutton’s shearwater produced by Claire Clements and Sean Giffin.

The Hutton’s shearwater was long known to Māori, providing a major sustainable source of protein to Ngāti Kuri in the area. The species was first officially described in 1912, and later there were anecdotal reports from high country farmers and hunters of ‘muttonbird’ burrows at high elevations in the Seaward Kaikōura Range, behind Kaikōura. In 1965, following on from these leads, Geoff Harrow found carcasses in the headwaters of the Kowhai River at altitudes between 1,200 and 1,800 m above sea level, that were confirmed as Hutton’s shearwaters. Extensive searching led to the confirmation of eight colonies, but only two remnant colonies remain today. At least ten colonies formerly existed in both the Seaward Kaikōura and Inland Kaikōura Ranges, and potentially further afield beyond these mountains.


The Trust has undertaken research in conjunction with various contractors and scientists over the years. To date research has focused on monitoring, population trends, breeding success, post-translocation movements and genetics. Current research is focusing on light disorientation, crash landings and foraging behaviour.

Research remains a key priority in Hutton’s shearwater conservation management, and long-term funding is required to ensure research priorities come to fruition. Research is urgently required to assess the erosion risks at the two remaining mountain colonies, where soil instability is a significant risk. It is also vital to assess all six “abandoned” mountain colonies, to discern whether any breeding may be occurring there.


Current research:

Light disorientation

Dr Sharyn Goldstien from the University of Canterbury is currently investigating Hutton’s shearwater fledgling crash landings in relation to light disorientation.

Foraging behaviour

Della Bennett from the University of Canterbury is currently researching Hutton’s shearwater foraging behaviour, food availability and prey distribution for her Ph.D.


Journal papers:

A comprehensive list can be viewed in the Hutton’s bibliography.

Genetic similarity of Hutton’s shearwaters (Puffinus huttoni) from two relict breeding populations.Hale, M., Harrow, G., Bradfield, P., Cubrinovska, I. & Holdaway, R.N. 2015. Notornis, Vol. 62: 130-134.

Post-translocation movements of pre-fledging Hutton’s shearwaters (Puffinus huttoni) within a newly established colony (Te Rae o Atiu) on the Kaikoura Peninsula. L. Rowe, 2014, Notornis, Vol. 61: 84-90.

Breeding success of Hutton’s shearwater in the Kowhai and Shearwater Stream colonies during the 2006/07 breeding season. M. Bell, 2014, Notornis.

Population trends, breeding success and predation rates of Hutton’s shearwater (Puffinus huttoni): a 20 year assessment. E. Sommer et al, 2009, Notornis, Vol. 56: 144-153.

A list of the chewing lice (Insecta: Mallophaga) from birds in New Zealand. R.L.C Pilgrim and R.L Palma, 1982, Notornis, Vol. 29.

Amendments and additions to the 1982 list of chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from birds in New Zealand. R. L. Palma, 1999, Notornis, Vol. 46: 373-387.

Monitoring Hutton’s shearwater 1986-1989. G. Sherley, 1992, Notornis Vol. 39: 249-261

Prelimary report on discovery of nesting site of Hutton’s shearwater. G. Harrow, 1965, Notornis, Vol: 12 (2).

Some observations of Hutton’s shearwater. G. Harrow, 1976, Notornis Vol. 23: 269-288.


Seabirds, Shearwaters, Science & Sea Week

A full article on the ‘Kaikoura Seabirds, Shearwaters, Science and Sea Week’ is available here (see page 6-8): Birds of NZ – 2014



Saturday 5th April 2014 – Morning

9.00 am Maori Tours – 20% off

Please book direct on 03 3195567 or email

9.15 am Photography workshop 

With birdlife photographer Peter Langlands, cost $25.

Meet in Dolphin Mary room at Encounter Kaikoura.

Book direct at or Ph: 027 4501 916

9.15 am Walk with local seabird advocates

Facilitated by Phil Bradfield and Friends of HSCT.

Meet at Point Kean, the Seal Colony car park.

9.30 am Albatross Encounter – 20% off

Book direct at or Ph: 03 319 6777.


Saturday 5th April 2014 – Afternoon

12.45 pm Lectures and Presentations – Memorial Hall, Supper Room – Koha

Guest Speakers:

1.00 pm Chris P. Gaskin 

Seabird Conservation Advocate. “Important Areas for New Zealand’s Seabirds: Kaikoura”.

1.30 pm Karen A.Baird 

Seabird Conservation Advocate. “Threats to NZ seabirds globally and nationally”.

2.00 pm Graeme Taylor

Seabird Scientist from DoC. “Conservation of New Zealand’s threatened seabirds – new insights about our poorly known oceanic birds”.

2.30 pm Afternoon tea break

3.00 pm Paul Scofield 

Senior Curator Vertebrates, Canterbury Museum. “The Albatross of the Chatham Islands: tourists to Kaikoura”.

3.30 pm Andrew Cutler

President Forest & Bird “What next for ocean governance: collaboration or crisis?”


Saturday 5th April 2014 – Evening 

5.30 pm Movies, Mix and Mingle – Mayfair Theatre Theatre tickets: $25 – door sales may be limited Tickets available online at or from Kaikoura i-SITE.

Proceeds to Seaward Lions of Kaikoura and HSCT.

Drinks, Food and Social Hour.

Wine kindly sponsored by Peter Yealands Wines.

6.30 pm Opening: Brett Cowan of Takahanga Marae & DoC Kaikoura followed by HSCT spokesperson.

Guest Speakers: 

Winston Gray Mayor of Kaikoura.

Colin King MP.

Ruud Kleinpaste Bugman, Birdman, Ecologist.

Movie: “The Mystery Bird” – Geoff Harrow

Registration and ticket purchase here >>


Sunday 6th April 2014 – Morning

6.45 am Haere Ra Nga Titi – Farewell to Hutton’s

Gather at South Bay Reserve

7.00 am 

Prompt departure on Kaikoura Peninsula coastal track to Te Rae o Atiu / Kaikoura Peninsula colony.

If mobility is limited please advise by email in order to arrange transport to colony. 

8.30 am 

Breakfast at Memorial Hall supper room for bacon butties!

9.30 am Kaikoura Seabirds Guest Speakers

Phil Bradfield Hutton’s scientific update (HSCT Trustee & DoC representative).

Nicky McArthur Hutton’s education update (HSCT Trustee).

Lindsay Rowe, Jody Weir Little Penguins of Kaikoura (HSCT Trustee, Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute).

Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura Kaikoura Coastal Guardians Members update.

11.00 am 

Ruud Kleinpaste Birdman, Bugman & Ecologist.

“The value of all living things”

11.30 am 

Lou Sanson Director General of the Department of Conservation. “Community conservation – NZ last discovered really precious – why it really matters”.

Sunday 6th April 2014 – Afternoon

12.30 pm Free – Seaweek family music and activity event

Adjacent to Memorial Hall.

Run by Brett Cowan, DoC Kaikoura and Creation Care Study Programme.

Please RSVP to to indicate your attendance to:

• Saturday morning walk

• Saturday afternoon presentations

• Saturday evening at the Mayfair Theatre – $25

• Sunday morning Farewell and breakfast


Newsletter – Issue 10 – March 2013

 Download >> Newsletter Issue 10 – March 2013
  • Farewell Event
  • Translocation
  • Welcome Home Event
  • Hutton’s History with Geoff Harrow
  • Auction Prize Dinner
  • Working Bee