Short-tailed Shearwater

The Short-tailed Shearwater is dark brown in plumage, the underwing occasionally having traces of white in the center. The tail is rounded and when in flight, the dark grey feet trail slightly behind. This species should not be confused the the Sooty Shearwater A. grisea, which is larger with a longer bill. Immature birds are similar in plumage to the adults. During summer, this is the most common shearwater along the south and south-eastern coasts of Australia; at this time many dead and dying birds may be found washed up on beaches.

Short-tailed Shearwaters return in summer each year in huge numbers to breed in Australia, using sandy burrows within large rookeries to lay their eggs and raise their chicks and then leave between April to May to fly back to Alaska, some 16,000 km away.

Scientific name: Ardenna tenuirostris