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A social mealtime Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Hear all about it!

The Wedge-tailed Shearwater is a common migratory bird which is a regular visitor to Rottnest. These birds arrive in August to breed on the Island. They breed in colonies which are made of burrows in soft sand or nests in crevices on the rocky, limestone islets.  These burrows can be up to 2m long and are dug by the female and male. The two biggest colonies can be found on Cape Vlamingh and Radar Reef. The female lays one single egg which can weigh around 59g. This is about 14% of her body weight! 

The Wedge-tailed Shearwater feeds in flocks on open sea. It holds its wings motionless as it glides closely over the water. While flying, it plunges its head and neck into the water to catch fish. These birds sometimes float on the water surface to feed. They can also dive up to 66m. 

Where you can find a Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Conservation Status

Listed as Least Concern under ICUN (2014). All Rottnest Island’s fauna is protected under the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987.
  • Extinct
  • Extinct in Wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near Threatened
  • Least Concerned

Help keep Rottnest healthy

  • Do ride carefully on the Island
  • Do keep to designated tracks
  • Do enjoy watching them on their own terms
  • Do take litter with you or use bins provided

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We're always open to feedback on how we can improve Rottnest Island for our visitors and wildlife!