New Zealand Storm Petrels now fitted with radio transmitters

To: <>
Subject: New Zealand Storm Petrels now fitted with radio transmitters
From: "Rohan Clarke" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 08:43:14 +1100
Hi all,

I have just returned from NZ were I joined a small team attempting to
locate the nesting site of the recently rediscovered NZ Storm Petrel. We
spent a few days out in the Hauraki Gulf (east coast of the North Island
about an hours drive north of Auckland). The plan was to catch
individuals at sea and fit them with radio transmitters in an attempt to
track them back to breeding sites. Given many islands have rodent
problems, locating the breeding site(s) and ensuring these sites are
protected may be central to the conservation of the species.

The trip was an outstanding success. An edited version of Brent
Stephenson's summary to Birding-NZ follows....

Six of us, Richard Griffiths (DoC), Halema Jamieson (DoC), Avi (local
Iwi), Rohan Clarke (Aus), Brent Stephenson and Brett Rathe (skipper)
headed out into the Hauraki Gulf to catch New Zealand storm-petrels
early on Thursday morning.

We headed to a point that Brett expected to find the birds based on the
prevailing conditions. Having not seen one after 45 min or so motored a
short way towards the Hen and Chicken's.  At the second chumming
location we struck gold and had up to 3 NZ 'Stormies' around the boat at
once.  Over the next few hours we tried and tried to catch one, until we
finally managed to get a bird onboard at 1430!  Pretty fantastic to
finally have one in the hand after Brent and others rediscovered the
species off Whitianga on 25 Jan 2003.

We banded, measured, and photographed the bird, and fitted it with a
small transmitter.  Upon releasing the bird it flew strongly and headed
off to the east.  Another few hours were spent trying to catch birds
around the boat, but all evaded our attempts.  We headed to the
Mokohinau's to anchor for the night. Being quite rough we weren't able
to scan the islands during dark.

The following morning we headed out again to a similar chumming location
and this time had NZ Storm Petrels arrive within minutes.  We ended up
with up to 6 birds around the boat at once, and at 1240 managed to catch
another bird.  This bird was similarly processed and released with a
transmitter.  It also flew strongly, this time towards the Mokohinau's.
We continued trying for more birds, but with a 25 knot wind and rising
2+ m sea decided to call it quits mid-afternoon.

An ecstatic crew headed back to Great Barrier Island and then Sandspit!
With two birds now carrying transmitters, hopefully over the next few
days some of our questions might be answered. Photos and more
information will be on Brent's websites in a week or so There is already
information on the rediscovery and subsequent sightings at these sites.
Go to  or

Birds seen during the trip:

                                  5 Jan        6 Jan
Little Penguin                    2(1)         0
BLACK-WINGED PETREL               2(1)         0
PYCROFT'S PETREL                  5(2)         2(1)
Cook's Petrel                     240(20)      200(20)
Black Petrel                      12(10)       15(3)
Great-winged (Grey-faced) Petrel  3(1)         0
NEW ZEALAND STORM-PETREL          8(3)         12(6)
White-faced Storm-Petrel          110(40)      180(60)
Short-tailed Shearwater           1            0
LITTLE SHEARWATER                 2(2)         0
Fluttering Shearwater             23(10)       50(10
Buller's Shearwater               70(40)       450(50)
Flesh-footed Shearwater           65(30)       90(8)
Fairy Prion                       20(15)       120(50)
Australian Gannet                 35(10)       70(20)
Common Diving-Petrel              1            1
GREY TERNLET                      0            19(19)
LONG-TAILED JAEGER                0            1
Red-billed Gull                   15(14)       6(2)
Kelp Gull                         12(10)       6(4)
White-fronted Tern                23(10)       26(20)
Caspian Tern                      8(8)         1
Mallard                           2(2)         0

Counts (by me) are total estimates for each day at sea, with the maximum
number seen at any one time in brackets.



Dr Rohan Clarke
mobile: 0429 792 906

Biosis Research Pty. Ltd.
Natural and Cultural Heritage Consultants
38 Bertie Street (PO Box 489)
Port Melbourne, Vic  3207
ph: (03) 9646 9499
fax: (03) 9646 9242

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message:
'unsubscribe birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • New Zealand Storm Petrels now fitted with radio transmitters, Rohan Clarke <=

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