Kōrero: Seabirds – overview

New Zealand sooty shearwater migration

New Zealand sooty shearwater migration

After spending the summer breeding in New Zealand, sooty shearwaters migrate to the far north of the Pacific Ocean, where they feed at sea for several months. In the north they are joined by sooty shearwaters from Chile.

It was once thought that in the northern-hemisphere summer, the birds visited a number of feeding grounds off the coast of Japan and Alaska, and then down through California, before returning south. However, recent electronic tracking shows that most birds head east or south-east from New Zealand before flying north. They reach one of the three feeding areas, where they stay until it is time to return south. Some birds go to locations off Japan and the Kamchatka Peninsula (in the far east of Russia), and then return to New Zealand without approaching the American continent. Others feed off the coast of Alaska or California.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: S. A. Shaffer and others. ‘Migratory shearwaters integrate oceanic resources across the Pacific Ocean in an endless summer.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103, no. 34, http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/71h247bh (last accessed 15 April 2010)

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Seabirds – overview - Foraging and migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/map/5484/new-zealand-sooty-shearwater-migration (accessed 18 October 2019)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015