SIPO sighting at Ballina, Jan 2002

Subject: SIPO sighting at Ballina, Jan 2002
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 01:03:32 +0800
At 20:34 23/01/2002 -0800, Robert Inglis wrote:
In the context of a genuine interest in gaining more knowledge of one of the
most recent additions to the list of birds for Australia I wrote:
"It seems to me that an attempt should be made to mark or label SIPOs seen in
Australia to help solve this mystery by making it easier to track the
movements of this new-to-Australia (?) bird."

While I agree some good information could come of banding the SIPO at Ballina, it is unlikely to happen.

The whole point of the pro banding debate is that banding is a very controlled activity and done for solid reasons.

To band the bird you would need :

1.  An A class bander with the appropriate national & state licences.
2. If cannon netting is to be used, then the bander will need these licenses also. 3. Unless the beach at Ballina is already registered, then this site will need to be registered. 4. Unless the bander has a project to cover banding a SIPO (waders in general might do, but could be pushing it), then a project will need to be registered. 5. The site would need to be recced a few times to identify the likely catching site, and to consider the safety aspects.
6.  The bander would need to find some assistants to help.
7.  The beach would need to be closed during the activity.

Yes, this is all possible (especially if someone is already studying the Pied Oystercatchers), but I would think that the effort involved would be too much. Wader studies are usually done for a minimum of 50 birds of a species if possible to compare moults, sizes, weights, ages, etc as well as to identify movements and migration. Sure, some rare waders are caught as a side catch (e.g. Little Stint in Victoria), but I don't think that this has ever been the aim of a catch. Remember that apart from retraps at the same site, much less than 1% of those banded are ever retrapped (hence the use of coloured flags to greatly increase the reporting rate).

The Pied Oystercatchers at Ballina have been studied, but I can't remember if they have been banded? other than perhaps as juveniles before fledging?

Frank O'Connor     Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694                Email : 

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