Short-tailed Shearwater

Common name
Short-tailed Shearwater
Scientific name
Ardenna tenuirostris
Size – beak to tail
40 – 43 cm
Wing span
90 cm
Birds of the Bluff
Page 6
Where to find
Bays and coastlines of Victoria. They nest on Bass Strait islands in a burrow dug into the sand.  They live in large colonies with adults feeding out to sea through the day and returning at night in large flocks.
The body and bill are dark brown with light brown feet. The wings are narrow, pointed at the tip and mostly dark brown underneath.

The Short-tailed Shearwater is the Mutton-bird of Bass Strait. It is one of Australia’s most numerous birds, with flocks of many thousands able to be seen, on migration, out to sea from the Bluff. These shearwaters complete a long migration north through the Pacific to near Alaska, before returning via the North American coast to arrive back in Australia in mid-September. They then depart around mid-April after breeding is completed. They feed on krill, small fish and other small marine creatures.