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Checklist 2022

Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Fifth Edition. 2022, Occasional Publication (No. 1), 332 pp

OSNZ Checklist Committee (2022)

Article Type: Occasional Publication

New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) hunting petrels at night and underground during the day

Notornis, 69 (1), 37-44

Miskelly, C.M., McLaughlin, L., de Graaf, A. (2022)

Article Type: Paper

New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) routinely feed on burrow-nesting seabirds (petrels: Procellariiformes) at several sites. As petrels are rarely present on the colony surface during daylight, and falcons are considered to be diurnal hunters, there has been much speculation about how falcons are able to capture petrels. We present evidence that New Zealand falcons are able to hunt petrels in forest at night, and also enter burrows during the day to extract chicks. These are novel hunting behaviours for falcons, and further increase the broad range of hunting strategies documented for New Zealand falcons. While these hunting methods may be used by only a few individual birds, they can produce high prey-capture rates.

Can small-scale predator control influence mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) nest survival? An experiment with artificial nests in Southland, New Zealand

Notornis, 69 (1), 45-53

Stewart, C., McDougall, M. (2022)

Article Type: Paper

Artificial mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) nests were used to identify potential nest predators and assess whether small, farm-scale predator control could reduce mallard nest predation in Southland, New Zealand. Artificial nests were deployed over the mallard nesting period (late winter – spring) in both 2019 and 2020 and monitored with motion detection cameras. Prior to 2020 artificial nest deployment, farm-scale trapping of mammalian predators was conducted on one farm whilst the other was left as a control. Feral cats (Felis catus), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), and European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) frequently visited the artificial nests but seldom preyed on them (i.e. consumed the eggs). Swamp harrier (Circus approximans) were the most common predator and were responsible for the destruction or predation of at least one egg at 17% of the artificial nests. Mammalian predator trapping had no noticeable effect on artificial nest predation, but did reduce the probability an artificial nest was visited by a cat, possum, or hedgehog. Results suggest typical predator control efforts of gamebird hunters does not reduce mallard nest predation, but may reduce nest disturbance and consequently mallard hen predation and nest abandonment.

Seasonal survey of waterfowl (Anatidae), shags (Phalacrocoracidae) and fernbird (Bowdleria punctata) at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands, Otago: July 2015 – July 2018

Notornis, 68 (4), 266–273

Thompson M.P., McKinlay B. (2021)

Article Type: Paper

Abstract: Birds were surveyed once per season over three years from 2015–2018 at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands, Otago. Eight species of waterfowl were observed, including four native species: New Zealand scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae), Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis), paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata), and grey teal (Anas gracilis). Native species made up 68% of all waterbirds counted. New Zealand scaup dominated at 53%. The highest total number of birds counted was 1167 in winter 2015, and the lowest was 76 in spring 2016. The counts for some species varied greatly from year to year and each species showed some seasonal variation. It appears that more waterfowl are using the lagoons now than 15 years ago. Shag numbers were never greater than 8 individuals. The estimated density of fernbird (Bowdleria punctata) along a 750 m transect varied from 1.0/ha in winter to 2.7/ha in summer. This survey of waterfowl, shags and fernbird provides a reference against which future comparisons investigating long-term trends in bird populations at the Sinclair Wetlands can be made.