Shearwater (Short tailed) Ardenna tenuirostris
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Species: A. tenuirostris
Binomial name: Ardenna tenuirostris
Synonym: Puffinus tenuirostris
Common name: Short tailed shearwater, Slender-billed shearwater, Tasmanian muttonbird, shorttailed shearwater, Tasmanian mutton bird, Yolla, Moonbird.
Ardenna tenuirostris is a large brown-black shearwater with long pointed wings, dull grey underwings, short rounded tail, relatively short lead-grey bill and dark grey legs and feet that project just beyond the tail in flight. Short-tailed shearwaters have a compact physique with a relatively small head with a domed forehead, a short neck and a deep body; the sexes are alike.
Short tailed shearwaters take fish and other prey by plunging into the water and pursuing it underwater, up to 10 metres below the surface. They also seize prey at the surface and hydroplane, holding their head in the water while flying low over the surface, grabbing any prey within reach.
It is the most abundant seabird species in Australian waters and is one of the few Australian native birds in which the chicks are commercially harvested from their breeding burrows. It is a migratory species that breeds mainly on small islands in the Bass Strait and Tasmania and migrates to the north to the Arctic region for the boreal summer. They are often seen at sea off mainland New Zealand from October to January and in May. Stragglers have also reached the Kermadec, Chatham, Snares, and Campbell Islands in the New Zealand region, and nearby Macquarie Island.
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