Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

First waltz on Mukojima: Short-tailed Albatrosses engage in courtship display at the translocation site

Up to now two different Short-tailed Albatrosses Phoebastria albatrus from the 2008 translocated cohort of 10 Torishima chicks have returned to the artificial colony on Japan's Mukojima Island (click here).

The latest report to hand from Tomohiro Deguchi of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology is of two subadult birds photographed engaging in a courtship dance on Mukojima at the translocation site on 5 March.  The photographs were taken by Noboru Chikira of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association.

Because the albatrosses were only observed from a distance their colour bands were not read but the two birds are thought to be from those translocated to Mukojima from Torishima.

This is the first time a STAL courtship dance has been observed at the translocation site since the start of the project.  The project team now hopes that the two birds will recruit to the translocation site as a breeding pair.

Two and one subadult STALs were seen at the translocation site on 6 and 7 March, respectively, so things are looking good for the establishment of new breeding colony in time.

With thanks to Tomohiro Deguchi for information

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 9 March 2011