As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 21 October 2012

DOC appeals for sightings of rare black stilts

As the summer approaches, Twizel's Conservation Department office is on the lookout for some keen bird-watchers.

Community relations ranger Kiersten McKinley said it was particularly interested in any sightings of the black stilt.

"Generally this bird stays in the Mackenzie and Upper Waitaki basins, but they have shown up in places as far south as Dunedin," she said.

"In the past we have trialled radio tracking devices on the birds. However, there were two limitations with this - one is cost and the other is the fact that batteries in the tracking units only lasted 18 months. Technological advancements need to be made in this area; with smaller, lighter and cheaper GPS tracking units being ideal."

The black stilt is one of the most endangered birds in New Zealand, with about 90 adults living in the wild. Every spring, the birds flock to braided rivers to breed. Ms McKinley said the department would be happy to take contributions from local photographers. 

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