Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Fluttering Shearwater

Scientific name:

 Puffinus gavia

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 At risk - relict

Mainland status:

 Coastal waters from Northland to Marlborough Sounds


 33cm, 300g




 September – February


 Small fish & krill

This is the shearwater most often seen in the Inner Hauraki Gulf. In appearance they are dark above and pale below. The head to below the eye, upperparts and thigh patch are dark greyish brown. The underparts and flank patch are white, the white underwings have brownish borders and the armpits are dusky-grey. A partial collar is faintly mottled and the bill is quite fine. The main call at the colony is a rapid staccato ‘ka-how ka-how ka-how ka-how kehek kehek kehek kehek-errr’.

They feed mainly on small fish and krill.

Fluttering Shearwaters breed only in New Zealand in dense or scattered colonies on many offshore islands from Northland to the Marlborough Sounds. Breeding takes place between September and February after they have returned to court and clean out their burrows. The single white egg hatches in November and the chick fledges in late January or early February.

With the spread of introduced predators these birds survive best on pest-free islands.

In autumn and early winter some birds, especially juveniles, migrate to Australian waters.

Fluttering shearwaters are commonly seen around Tiritiri Matangi and can be heard calling at night, especially from North East Bay. They nest on Wooded Island, and may also nest on Tiritiri itself. Visitors to the Island most often see them from the ferry as they flap and glide above the waves; they congregate in large flocks offshore from Gulf Harbour.

Learn more about fluttering shearwaters at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.