Movements of Caspian Terns ( Sterna caspia ) from a colony near Invercargill, New Zealand, and some notes on their behaviour
|Title||Movements of Caspian Terns ( Sterna caspia ) from a colony near Invercargill, New Zealand, and some notes on their behaviour|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1998|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||behaviour, Caspian Tern, Invercargill, movement, Sterna caspia|
Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia) from an isolated colony in southern New Zealand were studied for 30 years. Aims of the study were to identify the birds' wintering grounds and to discover the whereabouts of birds during immaturity, by tracing movements of known-aged birds. Adults moved to several wintering grounds up to 1150 km to the northeast. Some birds were locally nomadic in winter, but little distance nomadism was identified in adults. In some families, one parent left the colony up to three weeks before the rest of the family. Juveniles left their natal colony when aged 7–9 weeks, and each was accompanied by one parent until aged 8–9 months. Typically, parents took turns at accompanying a juvenile, in stints of ca. 1-3 days, but two siblings wintered 360 km apart, each accompanied by a parent. Birds on outward passage moved in stages in flocks of 2–4 birds. Families lingered at staging areas for 2-26 days. A 49–54 day old juvenile moved 195 km in five days. Mortality was high in juveniles which moved further than ca. 900 km. Seventy seven percent of juveniles remained sedentary at their wintering ground to age 9 months, and 30% stayed on at the same location through their second winter. Immature birds remained sedentary, were locally nomadic or wandered far inland. Some returned to the colony and stayed briefly, but those which had wandered tended to remain at one site for weeks or months before moving on. Juveniles begged only from their parents. Flight skills and some feeding behaviour of known-aged juveniles are described, as are some behaviours at staging areas.