Short-tailed Shearwater

Adrenna tenuirostris




Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

52 - 55

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with leaves.





Short-tailed Shearwater: Medium-sized shearwater with dark brown body and occasional traces of white in the center of upperwings; has more brown feather fringes that give it a slightly scaly appearance, especially on scapulars. Cap to below eye are a dark brown to dark gray. Feet are dark gray and trail slightly behind tail in flight. Tail is rounded. Bill is brown to dark gray and often darker near the tip. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is similar to adult, although sometimes may look stubby and small-winged.

Range and Habitat

Short-tailed Shearwater: Breeds along the coasts and islands of southeastern Australia. Summer visitor to the Pacific Coast of North America, from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands south to California and the northern Baja Peninsula; rare south of British Columbia. This species is highly pelagic, coming ashore only to breed.

Breeding and Nesting

Short-tailed Shearwater: One white egg is laid in a leaf-lined chamber at the end of a burrow. Incubation ranges from 52 to 55 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Short-tailed Shearwater: Their diet includes fish, krill and squid. Their main methods of feeding are plunging into the water, pursuing underwater, surface seizing, scavenging, hydroplaning and bottom feeding. These capable swimmers are able to dive up to ten meters. Their hooked bill allows them to hold on to their prey. Feeding occurs in flocks of up to 20,000 birds.


Short-tailed Shearwater: Silent at sea.

Similar Species

Short-tailed Shearwater: Sooty Shearwater has a slightly longer bill and more pronounced white under the wings.

The area on top of the head of the bird.
Short feathers in the area where the bird’s back and wings join.
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X