3rd December 2019
The latest stage of our project to find out more about our Pacific Golden Plovers has been successfully completed. A combined team of banders from the Shorebird Centre and four experienced PGP catchers from Brigham Young University, Hawaii have caught three more birds in a cannon-net at the Findlay Reserve and successfully fitted them with satellite trackers. All three have since been seen flying and feeding so have adapted well to their new jewellery. Instead of naming them after people, this time we are calling them by the Te Reo names for the colours of their bands. Meet (from left) Tea (or white), Kikorangi (blue) and Whero (Red). We can now look forward to tracking them as they head north to their breeding grounds around April next year, adding to the huge amount of knowledge we have already gained from the three birds caught last season. Catching has now been suspended until the end of January when tide and moon times should be favourable to try again.
Of the three Kuriri already tracked, the transmitters fitted to Amanda and Wee Jimmy seemed to lose battery power just as they were about to leave Alaska for their migration south, but we’ve got watchers out around the New Zealand coast and on several Pacific islands looking for them. JoJo’s transmitter is working well and she was successfully tracked from Alaska to Teraina in Kiribati, where she spent a couple of months, then to Tonga, where she has been for about a month. The latest satellite report seemed to indicate that JoJo left Tonga heading for New Zealand a few days ago but turned around in the face of strong headwinds and returned to Tonga. The peak period for the arrival of migrating Kuriri is around now so we hope to see JoJo, Amanda and Wee Jimmy again shortly.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to hear more about the project, broadcaster, writer and conservationist Alison Ballance visited the Centre during the catching and recorded a podcast for Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World series. Here is her interview with the team and story – Tracking Pacific Golden Plovers around the world.
To see all the details of the Kuriri journey and the latest spots they’ve checked in at, explore on your own, you can download the latest Google Earth files here.
Go to the Where’s Goldie? main Pacific Golden Plover Project page for all the project information.