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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issues 1 and 2 (New Zealand Albatrosses and Petrels: an Identification Guide)

5. Chatham Island Mollymawk — (Diomedea cauta eremita) — Plate 3

5. Chatham Island Mollymawk
(Diomedea cauta eremita)
Plate 3

Field Characters: 220/90. Somewhat smaller and darker than Salvin's Mollymawk (4). Head and neck entirely dark grey (no white cap), the latter contrasting sharply with the white breast. The underwing pattern is similar to that of the Salvin's Mollymawk (4). Juvenile birds are similar to adults in plumage colour, but a grey wash sometimes extends over the upper breast.

The bill of the adult bird is bright yellow with a dark tip to the lower mandible. An entirely dark olive brown bill with a black tip characterises the juveniles. Feet of all age groups are bluish-grey.

Differs from Salvin's Mollymawk (4) in having a darker head and neck and a yellow bill.

Does not follow ships.

Breeds only on Pyramid Rock, Chatham Islands, and appears to be chiefly confined to the adjacent waters. A few individuals, however, are known to range to the east coast of the South Island while others have been found storm-wrecked on beaches of the Wellington west coast and the Bay of Plenty.