Results of Banding White-faced Storm-Petrels Pelagodroma marina at Mud Islands, Victoria

White-faced Storm-Petrels Pelagodroma marina were banded almost annually at Mud Islands between 1955 and 1980. Bands were applied to fledglings removed from burrows and to free-flying birds captured in mist nets. Two percent of the 12 652 banded birds have been recovered, mostly at Mud Islands during subsequent breeding seasons. Recoveries were heavily biased by the type of bands used; aluminium bands lasted only 3 or 4 years. Half the known-age birds recovered have been found dead or dying around Port Phillip Bay within 4 weeks of their presumed fledging dates. The oldest known-age bird was 16 years when last recaptured. Almost all recoveries of birds banded when free-flying were from Mud Islands in subsequent breeding seasons. The few long-distance recoveries are considered in relation to the supposed migratory routes and low probability of recovering banded storm-petrels. Pre-breeding birds probably first return to their natal colony at 3 years old and probably return annually thereafter, although some birds have been recovered from the nearby South Channel Island colony.

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