Wedge-tailed Eagles & Gould's Petrels

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Subject: Wedge-tailed Eagles & Gould's Petrels
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:45:40 +1100
Hi Birders,
The recent comments about Wedge-tailed Eagles over Ku-ring-gai Chase NP (Appletree Bay & Bobbin Head) just north of Sydney NSW are of interest but the birds are to be expected. Most recent years there have been reports of Wedge-tailed Eagles in the Lower Hawkesbury Region of Galston Gorge & Ku-ring-gai Chase NP and this is because they are resident on the other side of the Hawkesbury River and are seen regularly at Mangrove Mountain, Dharug NP, Brisbane Water NP and Popran NP, being mainly in the western half of Gosford City Council area. For some years there was a nesting pair near Strickland SF/Somersby, and they were known to feed on the carcases of chickens dumped by the local poultry farms on the Somersby Plateau. The current nest site(s) are not known.
I notice that Kurtis Lindsay was snorkelling around Cabbage Tree Island off Port Stephens recently and thought that he might have seen a Gould's Petrel go to its nest under a rock. Cabbage Tree Island is known officially as the Gould Island Nature Reserve and is one of only two islands where the Gould's Petrel breeds (the other island is the adjoing Boondelbah Island NR). Gould's Petrels at this time of the year should be feeding large young and would not come to the Island at least until one hour after sunset when it is quiet dark. Most if not all nest sites are in the palm forests that occur on the Island, the nests being in holes under the rocks below a cover of fallen palm fronds (unless they are using the artifical nest box sites which too are located in the palm forest under the palm fronds etc).and would not be visible from the water. The reason why the Gould's Petrels come to the Island at night is to escape predation by Peregrine Falcons that have an eyrie on the Island, in addition to other predators such as Grey Goshawks and Pied Currawongs. More info on the Gould's Petrel would  be available from the Hunter Office, of the NPWS.
Alan Morris
Records Officer, Birding NSW
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