Excitement builds in Fiji Petrel Project as a second petrel is captured and released from Gau Island in less than a month.
The 18th Fiji Petrel has been captured and released after being processed by FP project staff on Gau Island.
This is the second bird to land within a village in less than a month, a record since the project first began three years ago. Several weeks ago a Fiji petrel landed in Nawaikama Village and the bird brought great excitement to the FP project staff at Nukuloa Village.
This second petrel landing, also in Nawaikama Village, happened on the 29th of November at about 10:30pm. Poasa Qalo, our intrepid field officer, trekked from Lamiti to the village to see the bird.
After reassuring himself that the bird was healthy despite not being fed, Qalo travelled to Nukuloa to retrieve the bird processing equipment from our field base office.
Qalo was finally permitted to take the grounded bird back to Nukuloa for more detailed processing where measurements such as weight, bill length, right wing length and tail length are recorded.
The bird was tagged with a metal ring and later released. It is possible that this was a breeding bird as it had a bare patch called a ‘brood patch’.
Qalo processed the bird after many hours of travelling back and forth between the villages, a commendable effort on his part.
Once again we thank the Nawaikama Villagers for their handling of the grounded petrel and for alerting our field project staff.