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.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Fake bird poo to help save spotted shags in the Hauraki Gulf

18:00, Feb 15 2019
The Auckland Museum has 3D-printed replica spotted shags to help attract real birds in the Hauraki Gulf.
Century-old bird specimens at the Auckland Museum could hold the key to saving a species under threat in the Hauraki Gulf.
Six spotted shag specimens in the Museum's collection have been scanned, 3D printed and painted, before being installed as a colony on Otata Island, part of the Noises island group. The specimens were collected by Museum staff from the same islands back in 1913.
"In those days museum staff went out and shot the birds, it was accepted practice," said museum curator Matt Rayner.
Spotted shags are abundant in the South Island, but scientists believe the small population that remains in the Hauraki Gulf – some 300 breeding pairs – may be genetically distinct. The birds are now limited to just two colonies, on Tarahiki and Waiheke Islands.
As well as the replica birds, the scientists have constructed nests from dried seaweed, installed a solar-powered sound system, and used white paint to mimic the droppings that mark seabird colonies. 
Read on and watch video

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