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.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fake birds and droppings lure gannets

Last updated 12:53 28/05/2014

Things are not quite what they seem on Rotoroa Island in Auckland where fake seabirds and droppings are being used to attract a whole new type of visitor.

Australasian gannets are what Auckland Zoo and the Rotoroa Island Trust are after - and lots of them.

They want to get the birds interested in forming a new nesting colony on the island as another conservation attraction and to benefit its ecosystem.

But the gannets won't want to know unless they can be convinced that others of their species are already living there.

That is why 16 plastic decoy gannets from the United States, man-made nest mounds splashed with white paint to resemble guano (droppings) and recordings of gannet cries are now in place.

The sound system was officially turned on two weeks ago and the daily bird calls are being monitored by trust and zoo staff.

Cameras, like the elephant cams and others used in David Attenborough's television wildlife series, are being installed in some of the fakes.

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