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Wedge-tailed Shearwater

(Puffinus [Ardenna] pacificus)
Alternate name(s): "Wedge-tailed Muttonbird*"
Size: 38-45 cm; wing span 1.0 m
Weight: 300-500 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Wedge-tailed Shearwater at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Dark morphology


Sex unknown

Near-frontal view of a roosting Wedge-tailed Shearwater (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, QLD, January 2006]

View from above onto a roosting Wedge-tailed Shearwater (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, QLD, January 2006]

Group of roosting Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, QLD, January 2006]

Wedge-tailed Shearwater, back, together with a Hutton's Shearwater, front (photo courtesy of M. Roderick)
[Off Swansea, NSW, December 2017]

Distant lateral view of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Mistral Point, Maroubra, NSW, February 2013]

Breeding information

Wedge-tailed Shearwaters nest in tunnels facing the sea side, both in south-western and south-eastern Australia. Breeding colonies are, e.g., established on Muttonbird Island NR at Coffs Harbour, NSW, and Norfolk Island.

Breeding season: Oct - May Eggs: 1 Incubation period: ~50 days Fledging age: 103 - 115 days

Nest building: ? Incubation: Male & female Dependent care: Male & female


"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tunnel Material: Grass, feather lining Height above ground: N/A

Tunnels are usually dug into sandy soil. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters can also nest under overhanging rocks or under roots, tussocks or logs.

Hill side with sandy soil into which a colony of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters have dug their nest tunnels
(photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Norfolk Island, January 2008]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 63 x 40 mm Colour: White Shape: ?

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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