Sunday, November 28, 2021

Seasonal movements and survival of royal spoonbill (Platalea regia) breeding in New Zealand

TitleSeasonal movements and survival of royal spoonbill (Platalea regia) breeding in New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSchweigman, P, Cash, WF, Thompson, MP
Type of ArticleFull Article

Royal spoonbill (Platalea regia) nestlings (n = 158) were colour-banded between 1990 and 2005 at Green Island, Otago and Wairau lagoons, Marlborough. A total of 75% and 84% of Otago and Wairau birds, respectively, were resighted between 1991 and 2012. The pattern of independent resightings (n = 737) indicates that adult royal spoonbills in New Zealand undertake repeated seasonal inter-island migration, moving north to wintering sites (mainly Parengarenga, Rangaunu and Whangarei, up to 1200 km away), then relocating to the south again in summer to breeding sites. Most juveniles move as far north as adults, although a third of juveniles from Wairau were seen in winter in the Nelson region, a distance of < 100 km away. Juveniles and immatures (< 2 year old) remain in northern locations in summer, and return as adults (2 years and older) to their natal area. In summer all adult birds banded in Otago were resighted only in Otago, which indicates a high degree of philopatry. In contrast, a third of nestlings banded at Wairau were resighted as adults in the Otago area, indicating a southward natal dispersal. The annual survival rate is estimated to be 0.89 and 0.92 for Otago and Wairau birds, respectively. The oldest bird seen alive was 18 years and 3 months.

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