31 January, 2012

Bronze Shag

Scientific Name: Leucocarbo chalconotus

Population Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000, Vulnerable status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to New Zealand. Found year-round near rocky costal areas of Stewart Island and the southeastern portion of the South Island of New Zealand.

Field Notes: Large cormorant, unmistakable in range. All phases with orange base to bill. Pied phase with white stripe on shoulder, which doesn't overlap in range other, near-by, similar cormorants. Bronze phase all dark. Great Cormorant has yellow at base of bill and white on face. Little Black Cormorant has no color on face.

Personal Notes: Seen on Stewart Island.

Bar-Tailed Godwit

Scientific Name: Limosa lapponica

Population Estimate: 1.1 - 1.2M

Range / Habitat: Breeds on inland wetlands and boggy Arctic of Scandinavia, northern Asia, and Alaska. Migrates to coastal East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and northwestern Europe where found in estuaries.

Field Notes: Large wading shorebird with a long, upturned bill. Most common migrant wader in New Zealand in summer, with non-breeding plumage as above. Overall very mottled, less crisp, than other godwits. Tail is a finely barred, not solid.

Personal Notes: Maori name Kuaka. Seen at Paunawea, South Island, New Zealand. This species makes the longest known non-stop flight of any bird and also the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal = 11,700 kilometers (~7,300 mi) along a route from Alaska to New Zealand. This journey takes nine days.