Chick sponsorship fully subscribed

All the chicks have now been sponsored as of 7.20pm 7th March 2017. Thanks to all those concerned.

Chick sponsorship almost fully subscribed

Chick sponsorships for this season have been snapped up very quickly. Only one chick of the 12 remains unsponsored, so if you were thinking about it now is good!

Chick Sponsorship now available

The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust (in conjunction with the Department of Conservation) is responsible for the management of the threatened Hutton’s shearwater. It is the world’s only alpine breeding seabird and exists in only one place globally – Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Without human intervention the Hutton’s shearwater would be to likely face extinction, as evidenced by the rapid decline from eight colonies in the 1960’s to the current situation where only two wild colonies remain in the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. The recent earthquake highlighted the vulnerability of these colonies, with perhaps 20% loss in area (whole areas of mountainside simply fell off), and an estimated 25 – 35% loss in bird numbers (a more accurate estimate will be available when ground surveys have been carried out).

As an insurance policy against such events, The Trust established and manages an artificial colony on the Kaikoura Peninsula, which was initiated by translocating chicks from the mountain colonies.

This breeding season (2016/17) we have 12 Hutton’s shearwater chicks, of which 10 are available for sponsorship via Sponsor-A-Chick. The available numbers are nest boxes 37, 40, 42, 45, 51, 70, 72, 74, 77, 90

You can sponsor a 2016/17 chick for $150.00, which will provide you with progress reports from year 1 to 5 and include naming rights. When the chick has fledged (in the next few weeks), we will send you a certificate containing details of the chick’s important dates. These include the day it was laid as an egg, the day it hatched, and the day it fledged (i.e. the date it flew away for its winter migration to Australia). Also included are the identity of the parents, when they were translocated, the nest box location and their measurements before they took off.

The photos show a very young bird covered with down, an intermediate aged chick presenting a trimmer appearance, and an adult bird. You can sponsor one of these gorgeous birds without having to feed them, look after their toilet requirements, or put up with their teenage years! Easy as!

Contact us at and we will get back to you.

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.

Kaikoura Earthquake

The recent earthquake caused widespread damage throughout many areas of North Canterbury and Marlborough. Kaikoura was especially hard hit, with the coastal landscape undergoing dramatic changes in just a few short minutes. Our Trustees seem to have come out of it reasonably well, though their stoic “I’m OK” assertions may well have disguised much more serious situations with regard to their property. Obviously this event will have major effects on the people and economy of Kaikoura for a long time to come. The two Hutton’s shearwater mountain colonies were also affected by major landslides which covered parts of both colonies. It is not yet clear what impact this has had on the populations; this will have to wait for an on the ground assessment when it is deemed safe and resources permit (we welcome any donations to help with this through our Givealittle page). Initial estimates indicate that 10 – 30% of the two sites have been affected. The timing was unfortunate with breeding in full swing, and many birds being underground at this time of night. These events highlight the reasons for their ‘At Risk – Declining’ conservation status, a status which may need revision in the light of these events. Though their total population is relatively high their breeding colonies occupy a relatively small area, at constant risk from landslides and avalanches, as well as predation and trampling. The good news is that both the infrastructure and birds at the Te Rae o Atiu colony appear to have escaped unscathed. When we have any updates they will be posted on our Facebook page.

The photo below shows the valley below the hut.


HSCT Newsletter – Issue 19 – November 2016


  • Ted’s Talk – From the Chair
  • Te Rae o Atiu – Colony report and maintenance
  • Welcome back events
  • International presentations
  • Education report
  • University research report
  • Hutton’s shearwater “fallout”
  • Works of art

Read the latest HSCT newsletter here:

Project Coordinators appointed

Coordinators appointed:

The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust recently appointed husband and wife team Elspeth Wingham and John Preece in the role of Project Coordinator for the Trust. Elspeth is a former Chair of the Trust, with a Ph.D. in marine birds, and currently splits her time between picking flowers at their Conway Flat property and babysitting her grand daughter. John works mainly in the field of wetlands.

Their main goal is to secure long term funding to achieve the aims of the Trust.

Buy Hutton’s shearwater tees and polos!

The Trust offers tees and polos in a variety of styles (unisex, ladies, kids) and colours (navy, blue, white, pink, green) under the Merchandise section of this website.

By purchasing our merchandise you directly help conservation of the endangered Hutton’s shearwater. Thank you!


Buy Clare Reilly’s new Hutton’s shearwater print

50 individually counter signed Hutton’s shearwater prints by Clare Reilly now available. All sale profits will go directly towards Hutton’s shearwater conservation.

Print size is 400 x 400, paper size is 560 x 560. Cost is $250 each including GST, packaging and postage.

You can purchase the print via this website under the Merchandise section, or email





Hutton’s Hub opening – Friday 4 March 2016

Launching the Hoki Ora Atu Tītī /Fly Safe Hutton’s Shearwater event.

Join us at our Hutton’s Hub opening this Friday 4 March 2016, adjacent to the Department of Conservation office, 115 Ludstone Road, Kaikoura. 10am-4pm. All welcome!

The ‘Hutton’s Hub’ will serve as the drop-off point for Hutton’s shearwater fledglings crash landing around the Kaikoura township each March/April due to light disorientation.

Enjoy guest speakers, children’s activities, nibbles, Hutton’s displays, viewing of the Hutton’s Hub, and viewing a Hutton’s shearwater chick from the Kaikoura Peninsula colony!

Hutton’s Hub Opening