Petrel Kills Crested Tern

To: <>
Subject: Petrel Kills Crested Tern
From: "Birds of Perth" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2002 15:18:37 +0800
Hi everybody,
For those of you that attended this mornings Birds WA outing to the North Mole in Freo, you will already know about the amazing observation we made today. Just thought I'd get in first .... If anyone can elaborate or tell the story better than I please feel free!
Two (2) Great Southern Petrel came to rest on water off the southern rocks of the North Mole near the lighthouse. A Crested Tern seemed to be on trouble on the water nearby, being unable to take flight. Somebody later told me that fishing line was seen on the bird. One of the Petrels siezed the opertunity and swooped down on the tern. The Petrel held the tern under the water to drown it, this was about 5 minutes. While one Petrel held the tern under water the second Petrel started to pluck feathers from the terns body. The second Petrel then tried to take the tern and ended up in a wrestling match with the first Petrel. During this time the tern was released. It (the tern) floated to the surface where it gave a few last feeble attempts of life and then died. The winning Petrel took the tern's body out further from the rocks (50m) where it proceeded to consume it. During it's meal it was interrupted several times by the second Petrel whereby an argument and fight would ensue before getting back to it's meal.
Like I said if someone else has more info please add it .. this is just the parts that I saw. Also thanks for the great walks this morning guys! I added two newies to my list (the petrels and the plovers). Especially thanks to Les Harris for driving me around!
I have photos and will add them to Birds of Perth for all to see when I get them developed. Also will post the photos of the "white" Willie Wagtail and the "pied" Eurasian Coot seen in Subiaco.
- Claire Stevenson
North Mole Fremantle
Australian Shelduck, Pied Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, Darter, Australasian Gannet, Crested Tern, Caspian Tern, Giant Skua, Silver Gull.
Woodman Point
Ruddy Turnstone(1), Willie Wagtail, Rufous Night-heron, A. Magpie, Singing Honeyeater, Nankeen Kestrel, Laughing Turtle-dove,
Australian Shelduck, Pied Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, Darter, Australaisain Gannet, Crested Tern, Caspian Tern, Giant Skua, Silver Gull, Pied Oystercatcher, Red-capped Plover, White-browed Scrub-wren (heard not seen) and a Southern Brown Bandicoot.

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