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, 16 March 2014

RARE BIRDS: Resurrecting the New Zealand Jesus Bird

Posted by James Russell of University of Auckland on March 12, 2014

New Zealand storm petrel at seaThe ‘Jesus bird’ is the unique name given to storm petrels, small seabirds of the family Hydrobatidae, for their characteristic ability to ‘walk’ on water. Storm petrels are remarkable creatures. With a body-weight about the same as a house sparrow, these seabirds can live for up to 30 years, and feed in the remote pelagic ocean hundreds of kilometres from land on planktonic crustaceans, only coming to land to nest.
The New Zealand storm petrel (Fregetta maorianus) was first taxonomically described in the 19th century from specimens at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris and then presumed extinct since 1895 with no further collections. That was until bird watchers re-sighted the bird in2003 and began an intensive monitoring campaign to try and locate the surviving breeding colony. Ten years later scientists last month have successfully discovered the breeding colony on Hauturu-O-Toi (Little Barrier Island) after tracking adult birds back to their colony, and once the adults had left locating one of many tiny eggs in a tiny nesting crevice in the cliff face.

No comments:

Post a comment