Hunting Black Noddies

Subject: Hunting Black Noddies
From: "Mike Tarburton" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 15:10:40 +1100
To Sean and others - A late reply

Sean asked:
> Does anyone know anything about the hunting of Black Noddies on Nauru?
> Apparently, grilled Black Noddy is a bit of a Nauru delicacy. The report
> that I've heard says that the hunters use call play back to lure the birds
> in, snag them in long-handled 'butterfly' nets, shake them to make the birds
> regurgitate their meals, then wring or bite their necks. Apparently hunting
> is banned during the breeding season so this suggests that this a properly
> controlled and regulated sustainable practice. Does anyone know if this is
> true? And I was wondering about the shaking of the birds - sounds like it
> might be quite an 'inhumane' thing to do, but then again it might be nothing
> more than a gentle jiggle.

One of our staff has worked on Nauru and has just confirmed most of the
details in your RFI.  Originally they used to imitate the birds calls just
after sunset in order to attract them, but now they use taped recordings of
their calls. I found in Fiji that all you needed to attract Black Noddies was a
light, and we caught thousands every night for banding.

In Nauru they are looked upon as a delicacy and are only harvested
infrequently for special occasions and then only during a specified part of
the year.  The birds are not harvested throughout the year and they have been doing it for many many generations, so it appears to be sustainable.

We could not verify the shacking and the method of killing, though I know
they kill fish with their teeth for I have seen them do it many times.

But do not give up! we have a student coming from Nauru next week and they
might be able to confirm or deny the killing procedure.

Happy Birding


Dr Mike Tarburton
Pacific Adventist University
PMB  Boroko
Papua New Guinea

Dr Mike Tarburton
Pacific Adventist University
PMB  Boroko
Papua New Guinea

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