Mutton birds on Matiu/Somes Island

02/02/2016 | Stories | 0

While walking around the island at midnight on the 24th of January 2016 showing some friends the local nightlife (Tuatara, Giant Weta and Little Blue Penguins), I heard and recorded a seabird calling from the ground.  I recognized the call as a mutton bird or Sooty Shearwater.  Having a cellphone handy made recording the calls very easy.  This allowed me to compare the recording to known Sooty Shearwater calls to confirm its identity.  Unfortunately I couldn’t locate the bird that night but will be looking for it again on my next visit.


Sooty Shearwaters use to breed on the New Zealand mainland around Wellington and still do on islands in the Marlborough Sounds and on Mana and Kapiti Island.  As far as I am aware they have never been recorded on Matiu/Somes Island before.  The search will now begin to locate them on the ground and find out if they have burrows there.  I suspect there will only be one or two birds there, if I can find them. 


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