A video of New Zealand sheep which has gone viral was shot on a whim by a Hawke's Bay photographer.

Tim Whittaker had been taking some still photographs of sheep at a farm off the Napier-Taihape road for Beef and Lamb when he decided to shoot some video from his drone.

"I was up there and I thought 'I may as well do some video'," he said. "I only put it online purely to show the farmer."

The video had been "sitting on YouTube" for a couple of months, with less than 1000 views before Caters News Agency asked Mr Whittaker if they could distribute it.


He said: "Then it was on the Telegraph and within two days it had over two million views and 26,500 shares."

Yesterday the video had 2,316,828 views on the Telegraph site, but only 3470 on Mr Whittaker's YouTube page.

Since being picked up by Caters it has also appeared on other news sites including The Huffington Post, the BBC, and Mirror online.

When asked why he thought people enjoyed the video, Mr Whittaker said it was probably because of the different viewpoint.

"We've all seen sheep being rounded up by farmers, but what we haven't seen is that they move like birds, they have their own personal space which changes.

"When you see it from the sky ... it's something even a lot of Kiwis probably haven't seen.

Mr Whittaker said he thought people also liked it because it was a pleasant thing to watch.

"There's no bad news, it's not depressing ... with so much crap out there you get tired of seeing it all. Clearly it strikes something in people."

Mr Whittaker said he was glad people enjoyed the video, but also hoped "one or two jobs come out of it".

"I'm the only certified drone pilot in Hawke's Bay, which took a lot of time and money, and it would be good to recoup some of that."