After the first find of the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
in December 2005, we are now celebrating another finding on the island. On 25-5-06, our Island Conservationist Unels Bristol found 1 nest of another sea bird on the opposite cliff of the first finding. Nesting in a cavity at the base of a very old Casuarina tree, a black and white bird with a very long tail was spotted for the first time, confirming breeding on North Island (*). Yes, it was the Whitetailed Tropic bird sitting on an egg!
White-tailed tropic bird nesting on North Island
White-tailed tropic bird close-up
Unels Bristol observing the white-tailed tropic bird nesting
With the island being rat-free since the last eradication in September
2005, chances are much bigger for the birds to re-colonize the island. This is indeed very encouraging for conservation work on North Island.
(*) Atoll Research Bulletin Hill, Michael, J. (2002) page 189
"Altough the presence of guano deposit on North Island suggests that
colonies of seabirds occurred in the past, few seabird species were
observed in the current survey (Table 11), and there was no evidence of
breeding in any species".
By Unels Bristol, North Island's Conservationist