Results of a preliminary highland bird banding study at Tari Gap, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Bird banding was performed in lower montane rainforest of Tari Gap, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, during eight weeks of each of three consecutive years, at seven netting sites. A total of 1 174 captures of 50 species were made, involving 895 individual birds. Of 279 recaptures, 228 were birds we banded and 51 were birds banded during previous studies. Of the 201 individual birds involved in recaptures, only seven of six species were not retrapped at their original capture point. The furthest movement of an individual was 2.7 km by a Papuan Scrubwren Sericornis papuensis. Morphometric, moult and broad patch data are presented and discussed. We caught 50 (54%) of a potential c. 93 species in our study area. The mean capture rate was 0.56 birds per hour by 13 m of mist net, and this is compared with other New Guinea mist-netting results. Longevity records of more than a year are reported for 17 species, the longest being of 61 months. Several species are recorded at new upper altitudinal limits at Tari Gap. Breeding activity increased during September-November, and the percentage of birds moulting increased during September (38%) to January (70%). Moult was noted in 48 species, and seasonal data is presented for 30.

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