Fwd: Bird calls lost in celebrity race

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Fwd: Bird calls lost in celebrity race
From: Paul Taylor <>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 11:04:42 +1000
From the Examiner newspaper (Tasmania).


Bird calls lost in celebrity race
Tuesday, 18 May 2004

The Great Bird Race across the Southern Ocean has suffered its first
casualties, with three of the 18 Tasmanian shy albatrosses lost.

The tagged immature birds began leaving their island hatcheries off
the Tasmanian coast a month ago on their three- year migration west
to feeding grounds off South Africa.

The world's largest bookmaker, Ladbrokes, is taking bets on which
bird reaches South Africa first. Profits go to the conservation of
the world's seabirds.

The 18 birds were fitted with satellite tracking equipment by
Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry biologists, who are using
the event to make the first detailed study of the birds' migratory

Each albatross is "owned" by a celebrity supporting the cause.

Thousands of the giant sea birds are lost every year to storms and
sharks but mostly through being hooked and drowned by longlines used
by commercial trawlers.

Race organisers reported yesterday that model Jerry Hall's Aphrodite,
a bantamweight female, was in the Indian Ocean more than 1000km west
of the West Australian coast.

Second-placed Monarch Of The Glen, Susan Hampshire's heavy male, is
still off the South Australian coast in the Great Australian Bight,
apparently finding the fishing so good he has flown several hundred
kilometres back to the east.

Most birds are between Tasmania and South Australia - except Harriet,
a rebel from Pedra Bianca Island, which is in the eastern half of
Bass Strait flying the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race course in reverse.

No one knows why.

But the news is not good for Ginny, Douglas and Rocky. Their signals
ceased several days ago and Ladbrokes has suspended betting on them.

Paragon has been sending a signal but has been stationary close to
the Tasman Peninsula for several days. If she shows no signs of
movement within a day or so, she too will be presumed to have been


   Paul Taylor                           Veni, vidi, tici -
                    I came, I saw, I ticked.

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