90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station

Petrel Glossary
Nest 1
Nest 9
Nest 12
Nest 289
Petrel Glossary

Petrels Research
View images of southern giant petrels being tagged.
Attaching Transmitters
Read Dan's journal.

View images in a collection of Photo Galleries.
Watch video of penguins at play.

Chronology of a Donna Patterson's Research Project

Giant petrel
Donna Patterson with a giant petrel and a chick she has just weighed and measured.

1991 Donna Patterson began her research on giant petrels in the Palmer area. That year she took over a long-term census of which birds are incubating eggs. Since the study covers the entire Palmer area, as opposed to a single island, Patterson has jokingly dubbit "The World Wide Giant Petrel Census." She banded all chicks in the Palmer area in March.

1992 Patterson established the Humble study area. She walked around the area to get to know the birds and where they nested. "I was learning how to live with them and figure out if they could live with me," she says.

1993 Patterson assigned numbers to nests.

1994 Patterson began growth studies of chicks including egg size, hatch dates, and chick growth patterns (such as weight and culmen length).
Patterson began banding adults as well as chicks in March.

1998 Began satellite tracking of breeding adults during the breeding season.

2000 Began satellite tracking of non-breeding adults, which travel much further from the Palmer area.

2001 Second and last year of non-breeding-bird tracking.

For the Future: More satellite transmitters for chicks and juveniles. New
environmental sensors (such as daylight sensors and ocean temperature sensors) on radio transmitters to learn more about giant petrel habits.