Nasty Northern Giant Petrels

To: Kev Lobotomi <>, "" <>
Subject: Nasty Northern Giant Petrels
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 03:15:56 -0800 (PST)
Hi Kev,

Over the last 6 years I had 3 x more NGPs than SGPs along the East coast 
(mainly Sydney & Wollongong).


Nikolas Haass

Brisbane, QLD

From: Kev Lobotomi <>
To: "" <> 
Sent: Monday, November 4, 2013 4:22 PM
Subject: Nasty Northern Giant Petrels

On a few occasions lately I have witnessed how nasty the Northern Giant Petrel 
can be. Firstly off Port Fairy on shelf on the 27th people aboard the boat had 
4 GPs (3 definite Northerns, perhaps 1 Southern) attacking a Short-tailed 
Shearwater and drowning it. We later went over to check out the corpse floating 
on the sea. 
In addition to this I spotted a Northern GP off Cape Nelson yesterday (3/11/13) 
about 10AM. There were heaps of Short-tailed Shearwaters offshore, some sitting 
on the ocean. This of course is not unusual at the moment with big wrecks about 
everywhere in SE Aust. The GP kept flying up to a STS sitting on the water & 
jumping on it. The STS would either dive under the water & evade that way, or 
fly off. This it did about 6 times before the NGP actually jumped on a bird 
which was probably too weak to get away. It then grabbed it and took off with 
it, then landed and attacked it's belly. The poor shearwater was flaying it's 
legs and wings around. Eventually you'd expect the NGP to start eating the 
thing. It did peck at it a bit, but then abandoned the bird (not sure if it was 
dead, but it would have been mortally wounded) & then proceeded to have a go at 
several other shearwaters on the water. I got the feeling the NGP was acting 
like the Grim Reaper &
 selecting the shearwaters th
at were ready to die! 
I have noticed that there have been Northern Giant Petrels hanging around 
southern Australia (Cape Nelson, Port Fairy, Port MacDonnell & Eaglehawk Neck) 
& perhaps taking advantage of the plight that the STS are in at the moment. 
It's also interesting that there have only been a few Southern Giant Petrels 
the whole year. I remember Southerns being more common than Northern, 
particularly in the mid and later part of winter. Northerns seem to outnumber 
them lately. Has anyone noticed a decline in SGP numbers, as opposed to NGP 
numbers?-Kevin Bartram

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