Natural Wonders

How gannets survive volcano life

The NHNZ team achieved a world first when documenting a gannet colony coping with the White Island heat

Our Big Blue Backyard is one of New Zealand's most celebrated and discussed TV series, produced by the world-renowned NHNZ based in Dunedin.

Newsroom is featuring some of the top moments from this incredible show, including behind-the-scenes interviews with underwater cinematographer Kina Scollay and NHNZ executive producer Judith Curran.

“The gannet story was our topside narrative for the White Island episode. Gannets are beautiful, charismatic birds and the spectacle of them living on the flanks of an active volcano in massive colonies was almost too good to be true. My crew spent days filming them – gannets are not bothered by humans so they could film right in the middle of the colony. On very hot days they noticed the parents flying in with seaweed to drape under and over their fluffy chicks who were on the verge of suffering from heat-stroke. It wasn’t until afterwards that we discovered the draping of seaweed like a blanket over the top of chicks had never been witnessed before.”
Judith Curran
Executive producer

Our Big Blue Backyard was made for TVNZ 1 with the help of NZ On Air.

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