Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Going walk about: translocated Hutton’s Shearwater chicks visit each other’s nest boxes

Lindsay Rowe (Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust) writes in the New Zealand journal Notornis on movements of translocated pre-fledgling Hutton’s Shearwater Puffinus huttoni.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Over 100 Hutton’s shearwater (Puffinus huttoni) nestlings were translocated to the Te Rae o Atiu colony on the Kaikoura Peninsula in February and March 2013.  Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags were implanted in all translocated nestlings and their movements were monitored using both visual observations and recording devices at nest-box entrances. Once nest-box entrances were unblocked about 5 days after birds were translocated, 29 nestlings were resighted 81 times outside their home nest-boxes either in the open (14 nestlings) and/or other nest-boxes (29 nestlings).  From the PIT tag records, 37 birds were observed visiting at least 49 nest-boxes on 109 occasions.  The most mobile bird made 15 visits to 12 other nest-boxes over 9 nights; another bird visited 6 boxes in one night; and 1 box had 3 visitors in a single night.  Nestlings moved within the colony in the period between 1 and 16 nights before fledging, with an average of 8 nights with movement before fledging.  The PIT tag readers also showed that the use of pins outside nest-box entrances to determine movements can be misleading as pins were moved up to 13 nights before the nest-box occupant emerged, the pins being moved either by visitors to the nest-boxes or by nestlings wandering past the entrance.”

Hutton's Shearwater, photograph by the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust


Rowe, L. 2014.  Post-translocation movements of pre-fledging Hutton’s shearwaters (Puffinus huttoni) within a newly established colony (Te Rae o Atiu) on the Kaikoura Peninsula.  Notornis 61: 84-90.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 14 October 2014