Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hakawai' aerial displaying by three populations of subantarctic snipe (genus Coenocorypha)

TitleHakawai' aerial displaying by three populations of subantarctic snipe (genus Coenocorypha)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMiskelly, CM, Bell, EA, Elliott, GP, Walker, KJ
Type of Articlearticle
Keywordsaerial display, Antipodes Island, Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, Coenocorypha aucklandica, hakawai, New Zealand Snipe

The “hakawai” is a rarely-heard but dramatic nocturnal aerial display performed by Coenocorypha snipe. Although much has been written about the hakawai formerly heard on islands off Stewart Island (performed by the extinct Stewart Is snipe C. aucklandica iredalei), there are few documented reports from other populations. We describe hakawai aerial displays heard on Adams I (Auckland Is snipe C. aucklandica aucklandica), Antipodes I (Antipodes Is snipe C. aucklandica meinertzhagenae), and Campbell I (Campbell Is snipe Coenocorypha undescribed sp.) between 2001 and 2006. These include the 1st records of hakawai on Adams I and Campbell I. Based on characteristic tail feather damage believed to be caused by the display, Campbell Is snipe of both sexes performed hakawai aerial displays more frequently than has been recorded for all other Coenocorypha snipe populations. Male snipe from all 6 populations assessed exhibited a higher frequency of tail feather wear than females, and for the 3 populations with adequate data, males also had lower wing-loadings, indicative of greater flying ability. However, there was no apparent correlation between the frequency of “hakawai” feather wear and wing-loadings when comparing between populations.

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