Fisheries By Catch of White Capped Albatross

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Ian McLean
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm

Fisheries By Catch of White Capped Albatross

Postby Ian McLean » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 pm

Hi there

Birds New Zealand undertook a beach patrol of Muriwai Beach on on Saturday the 7th of December. A total of 12 species were found beach wrecked as follows:-

2x white-capped albatross
1x Antarctic fulmar
1x white-headed petrel
2x Buller’s shearwater
3x sooty shearwater
1x short-tailed shearwater
2x fluttering shearwater
1x storm petrel sp.
1x Australasian gannet
1x pied shag
1x white-fronted tern
1x Australian magpie

Of interest, were the two White-capped albatross. These were found only 10 metres away from each other & both had the same state of decomposition indicating that they had died at the same time. Both birds had the outer third of one wing missing from the carpal joint (as in the attached photo). I expect that the wings have likely been severed by a cable from a trawler or some other type of fishing vessel ? No hooks were found & as the bodies of the birds were badly decomposed, it was not possible to ascertain any other injuries. However; I expect that these birds were the victims of fisheries by catch. This was also the third time within the last 6 or 7 years that we had found a set of two White-capped albatross together both with severed wings !

Also of interest, was a storm petrel. that we could not identify to species. The set of measurements do not exactly fit into the range of those I have for any particular species, whilst I do not know of the measurements for New Zealand Storm Petrels.

The measurements for this storm petrel where as follows:-

Wing Length: 150 mm
Culmin: 16 mm
Tarsus: 37 mm
Middle Toe: 32 mm
(Unfortunately there was no tail)

Attached is photo of the bird, as you can it was really just mainly the skeletal remains. This bird will be taken to the Auckland Museum, where they may be able to identify it to species.

Cheers
Ian
Muriwai Beach -Storm Petrel sp.jpg
Storm petrel sp
Muriwai Beach -Storm Petrel sp.jpg (485.59 KiB) Viewed 356 times
Muriwai Beach -White Capped Albatross.jpg
White-capped albatross with a third of the right wing missing
Muriwai Beach -White Capped Albatross.jpg (660.32 KiB) Viewed 356 times
Ian Southey
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Fisheries By Catch of White Capped Albatross

Postby Ian Southey » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:49 pm

Ian

Those grey feathers, the bill shape and the wing measurement suggest White-faced Storm Petrel.

Ian
Ian McLean
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm

Re: Fisheries By Catch of White Capped Albatross

Postby Ian McLean » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:10 pm

Thanks Ian
I was also thinking White-faced Storm Petrel, but the tarsus & middle toe measurements were too short. However; the measurements from the Beach Patroller's Guide are really a guideline & there can be some variation.
Cheers
Ian
Ian Southey
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Fisheries By Catch of White Capped Albatross

Postby Ian Southey » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:33 pm

Must admit to not having really tried hard on this but HANZAB, from nzbirdsonline gives more detailed measurements.

Good luck

Ian

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