Buller's shearwater

Buller’s shearwaters breed only on the Poor Knights Islands, a protected, predator free, nature reserve off the eastern coast of Northland.

During April to late May, Buller’s shearwaters depart for the north Pacific, from Japan to the western coast of North America. Birds return to the Poor Knights in mid–September to court and clean out their burrows. However, egg laying does not start until October.

Their population is in excess of 2,000,000 birds and resting rafts of sometimes thousands of birds may be seen off the east coast of New Zealand in summer.

Laughing petrel and Buller's petrel
Sub Species: 

Other common names:  — 

Buller’s petrel, New Zealand shearwater,
long–tailed shearwater.

Description:  — 

Endemic bird

46 cm, 425 g: easily distinguishable from other New Zealand shearwaters by its grey colouration above and white below in conjunction with its cuneate tail.

Where to find:  — 

Breed only on the Poor Knights Islands.

Youtube video  — 

Buller's shearwater

Credit for the photograph: — 

Illustration description: — 


Godman, Frederick du Cane, Monograph of the Petrels, 1907–1910.

Buller, Walter Lawry, Birds of New Zealand, 2nd edition, 1888.

Reference(s): — 


Heather, B., & Robertson, H., Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, 2000.

Oliver, W.R.B., New Zealand Birds, 1955.

Page date & version: — 


Thursday, 14 October, 2010; ver2009v1


©  2005    Narena Olliver,    new zealand birds limited,     Greytown, New Zealand.