The first unambiguous observations of Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi at sea are documented with photographs.
The species behaviour, jizz and flight are described, presented together with comments on confusion species, especially Bulwer’s Bulweria bulwerii and Jouanin’s Petrels B. fallax, and Christmas (Kiritimati) Shearwater Puffinus nativitatis.
Preparations for the expedition, why a given sea area was chosen, the ‘recipe’ and use of ‘chum’ as an attractant, and the methods used for counting petrels are explained.
The four specimens of Fiji Petrel were studied in detail and records of grounded birds, from the only known location, Gau Island, Fiji, were reviewed and their ageing re- considered.
These data permit us to speculate on this petrel’s breeding season, which is highly relevant to the future conservation of this Critically Endangered species.
pdf Paper: Fiji Petrel Shirihai et al
First observations of Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi at sea: off Gau Island, Fiji, in May 2009
by Hadoram Shirihai, Tony Pym, Jörg Kretzschmar, Kolinio Moce, Amania Taukei & Dick Watling
Received 29 June 2009