Release of seabirds at sea.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Release of seabirds at sea.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 19:05:02 +1000
I refer to a posting regarding the release of two seabirds off Southport on 15/6/02. I have since received a couple of concerned phone calls and e-mails regarding the matter. When releasing any seabird the subject is observed for some minutes to ensure there is no waterlogging of tail, wing, or body plumage before the vessel leaves the area.
These birds have sometimes been in captivity for some days even weeks and their initial response on being released is to bathe, quite often at some length. This involves a plunge into the water and  a lifting of the entire body out of the water, this can sometimes last for a considerable period of time.
On the May trip out of Southport we released several Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, two of these birds very quickly water-logged and were immediately rescued. They obviously hadn't, or were incapable of using their preening gland(s) whilst in captivity.
The birds in question on the Southport June pelagic were a Northern Giant Petrel and a Brown Skua. The Skua is basically a Gull, with greater wing to body mass area than the Giant Petrel therefore having more immediate lifting capability. The Giant Petrel was showing NO water-logging on our departure.
I was on the Wollongong pelagic this weekend past and observed a freshly captured then released Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross showing the same post-release actions. The same procedure was followed at that venue as off Southport.
In future, patrons having concerns about something they have observed on these pelagics regarding the above or maybe sightings in general should talk to the organizer or some other experienced birder on board before submitting erroneous statements through channels such as Birding-aus.
Cheers - Paul Walbridge.
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU