Many shearwaters are long-distance migrants that are long-lived.
Shearwaters come to islands and coastal cliffs only to breed. They are nocturnal at the colonial breeding sites, preferring moonless nights to minimize predation. They nest in burrows and often give eerie contact calls on their night-time visits. They lay a single white egg.
They feed on fish, squid, and similar oceanic food. Some will follow fishing boats to take scraps, commonly the sooty shearwater. Their primary feeding technique is diving, with some species diving to depths of 70 m (230 ft).
We have ten varieties of shearwaters that can been viewed off the Kaikoura coastline.
Recent Bird Sightings
With around 150 species of birds recorded here so far, Kaikoura is one of New Zealand's top birding destinations. The wonderful array of seabirds just offshore are the jewel in the crown with five varieties of Great Albatross, nine varieties of the smaller Lesser Albatross, seven varieties of Shearwaters, fourteen Petrel varieties, and several other seabird varies such as Shags, Prions, Penguins, Gulls and Terns.