Mutton bird season under way

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 05:00 18/04/2014
Muttonbird, sooty shearwater
MUTTONBIRD: Also known as the sooty shearwater.

Relevant offers

The mutton-birding season on the Titi Islands is cranking up, and their catchers say it is already looking better than last year's horror season.

A lack of small fish such as krill for the birds to feed on last year resulted in many mutton-birds dying in their holes.

Long-time mutton-birder Robert Coote said the mortality rate of chicks was ''phenomenal'' in 2013.

But this season, which stated on April 1 and finishes at the end of May, was looking better.

''I have spoken to a few people, things aren't looking too bad. There seems to be more food around,'' Coote said.

Tiny Metzger, who has missed just a ''few'' mutton-birding seasons in his 80 years, said he was getting mixed feedback from the islands, which are near Stewart Island.

Some areas had healthy birds and some areas did not, but one thing was clear.

''Anything would be better than last year,'' Metzger said.

In his lifetime, a bad season was followed by a good season.

''If that follows, I don't think it will be too bad.''

Metzger will find out for himself - he was to go to the islands this week.

Another mutton-birder, Pania Coote, said reports from the islands this season were generally positive.

The birds being caught were a good size and the majority were healthy, which indicated the feeding was good, she said.

Catches varied from island to island, with some reports of reduced numbers but others reporting similar numbers to previous years.

 

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should April Miller be allowed to play in the presidents grade rugby competition?

Yes, if she can keep up with the other players, why not?

No, it's against the rules and it's not safe for her

Vote Result

Related story: Southland woman banned from men's rugby side

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Social Media
The Southland Times on Facebook

Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.

Digital edition

Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.

Click here to read our free community newspapers from around the region.

Community newspapers

Click here to read our free community newspapers from around the region online.

Southland Times subscriber news and information.

Subscriber services

Southland Times subscriber news and information.

Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.

Advertise

Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.