Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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

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.