8th June 2020
After more than two months of radio silence since leaving Pūkorokoro we’ve finally heard from one of this season’s six tagged Kuriri. Ra – who was named after the sun – has reported in from Alaska. As of yesterday he was at a possible breeding site near the village of Shishmaref on the Seward Peninsula. Ra was the first of our birds to leave, probably on 4 April, with the last to depart being Whero, who most likely took off on 20 April. All their tags had been reporting while they ate up large in the Firth of Thames. But once they left everything went silent apart from a single unconfirmed Argus satellite report, again from Ra, on 15 April. We had begun to fear something might have gone wrong with all six tags or birds when this morning (8 June) we got seven new locations from Ra. The first five were from the Japanese island of Honshu where he spent a month, one was from Adak in the Aleutian Islands which stretch out southwest of Alaska, and finally there was one from the Seward Peninsula. It was a huge relief to know that all the effort put into catching and tagging the birds wasn’t wasted. Now we have to cross our fingers that before long the other Kuriri will deign to report in.
– Jim Eagles, Kuriri Project Coordinator