Scores more Cook's petrel have been returned to Hawke's Bay as conservation staff work to establish populations of the birds in the region.
Last week 86 birds were taken from Little Barrier Island and dropped by helicopter so they could fly into their new home, high on the Maungaharuru Range.
"It's an environment where they used to exist in their tens of thousands. Through habitat change and predation they became locally extinct," said Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project manager Kent Hunt.
The birds were being joined on Saturday by a further 40 petrel, all from Little Barrier Island.
Mr Hunt said the birds will be hand-fed sardine shakes for up to two weeks before they grow strong enough to fly out to the North Atlantic. They live at sea for up to five years and return to Hawke's Bay to breed.
"This is the second translocation of Cook's petrel," he said. "Fifty were bought back last year. It is planned to repeat this exercise for three more years."
The long term goal is to establish populations of the bird on the Hawke's Bay mainland.