Satellite tracking of Wandering Albatross ( Diomedea exulans ) from the Auckland Islands: preliminary results
|Title||Satellite tracking of Wandering Albatross ( Diomedea exulans ) from the Auckland Islands: preliminary results|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1995|
|Authors||Walker, K, Elliot, G, Nicholls, D, Murray, D, Dilks, P|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Diomedea exulans, flight, foraging, satellite tracking, Wandering Albatross|
Foraging flights of three female Auckland Island Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans gibsoni) were tracked from Adam Island in the Aucklands group by satellite radio telemetry. Two of the birds were incubating eggs, while the third was in the early stages of chick raising. All three birds made long flights of 11-13 days and 1000 - 1500 km into the Tasman Sea. The chick-rearing female also made shorter flights of less than 4 days and 900 km. The distances covered were similar to those recorded for other Wandering Albatross subspecies, but foraging strategies differed. Auckland Island birds initially flew fairly directly and at high speed, then seemed to slow down and change direction more frequently for a few days, before flying directly back to the Auckland Islands. Two explanations are suggested: birds may have been "commuting" to favoured foraging areas, or were blown by the winds. Speeds reached during the "commuting" phase were similar to those recorded for D. e. chionoptera, but were slower at other times. The Tasman Sea between latitudes 45°S and 40°S is an important foraging area for some female Wandering Albatross breeding on Adam Island.