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Short-tailed Shearwater

Scientific Name: Ardenna tenuirostris

Description: The Short-tailed Shearwater is the most abundant seabird species in Australian waters. It is a migratory species that breeds mainly on small islands in Bass Strait and Tasmania, migrating to the seas off the Aleutian Islands near Alaska annually.

Their name refers to their habit of flying close to the water and using updrafts from waves to stay airborne. From late September, massive flocks of 10’s of thousands of birds may be seen passing offshore. Following their return journeys in spring, large numbers of dead birds that did not survive are often seen on local beaches.

These birds feed on a variety of prey including squid, krill and small fish, caught mostly on the surface of the water but sometimes birds are seen diving for food.

Type: Bird
Where to find: Open Water
Size: 50cm