Sea Birds

White Tern

White tern (Gygis alba)

Wingspan 750mm body weight of 110g.

Breeds on lord Howe from September to May. They don’t make any nest at all just lay on the branch of a tree. Arrived on the island in the 1940 and come back every year.

Wedge Tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)

Wingspan 980mm body weight of 320-510g

A widespread seabird that nests throughout tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. Breeds August to May in short burrows on the off shore islands and also on the island, eg Flagstaff Point and near Pinetrees boat shead.

White-bellied Storm Petrel

White-bellied Storm petrel (Fregetta grallaria)

Wingspan of 460mm body weight 46-74g.

This a very hard bird to photograph as he is so fast and so small, the smallest sea bird on the ocean. Breeds on the outer islands around Lord Howe. Population on Lord Howe is polymorphic. You can find the black morph if you are lucky, only a very few like this.

Hutton’s Shearwater

Hutton’s Shearwater (Puffinus huttoni)

Wingspan 750mm body weight of 242-378g

Breeds in NZ endemic. We only see the odd one or two here, just moving through. Very fast on the wing so hard to photograph.

Flesh-footed Shearwater

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes)

Wingspan 1150mm body weight of 533-800g

Breed on Lord Howe, bird get back here in mid to late August after being on the wing as far north as the coast of Siberia, lay their egg in burrows about 1-2m long. Both parents take turns in the incubation and raising the chick. It is believed that they can swim down to gather food to 50m deep!! The population of these beautiful sea birds has crashed in the last 10 years from 22 thousand pair to 10 thousand. Plastics, long line fishing and deaths due to road kill on the island are the cause. $10 per person from our sightseeing trips goes to this cause. Check out this link

Short Tailed Shearwater

Short-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris)

Wingspan 970mm body weight of 480-800g

Short-tailed Shearwaters don’t breed here they just come zooming through in their thousands. We see them passing the island in October and November each year on their way back from the North Pacific Ocean. They breed on Tasmanian islands and Southeast Australia (November to December they lay)

Campbell Albatross

Campbell Albatross (Thalassarche impavida)

Wingspan 2200mm body weight of 2.2-3.8kg

We see this beautiful bird over the winter months here. Breeds on Campbell Island off NZ. Common in NZ waters, moves through the Tasman sea and South Pacific when not breeding. You can tell him apart from the Black- browed by his yellow eye.

Northern Giant Petrel

Northern Giant Petrel (Macronectes halli)

Wingspan 1900mm body weight of 3.8-5kg.

We see the odd one here over the winter months, breeds southern ocean islands eg Macquarie Is, has a pinkish tip to bill.

White-necked Petrel

White-necked Petrel (Ptreodroma cervicalis)

Wingspan 970mm body weight 380-545g

We see this Southwest Pacific bird here over the summer months, not in big numbers only ones and twos. Looks like a Black-winged but a fair bit bigger.

White-headed Petrel

White-headed Petrel (Pterodroma lessonii)

Wingspan 1009mm, body weight 580-800g. A southern ocean bird, breeds southern ocean islands and some NZ islands. I have seen this bird twice at Lord Howe in winter, very rare around here.