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Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot SX230IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-11-15 22:05
Viewed: 2474
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Puffinus pacificus

Breeding behaviour

The Wedge-tailed Shearwater breeds in colonies on small tropical islands. Breeding seasons vary depending on location, with synchronised breeding seasons more common at higher latitudes. Northern hemisphere birds begin breeding around February, southern hemisphere birds begin around September. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters display natal philopatry, returning to their natal colony to begin breeding at the age of four.
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters are monogamous, forming a long term pair bond that lasts for several years. Divorce between pairs occurs after breeding seasons that end in failure. Nesting either in burrows or sometimes on the surface under cover. Pairs call frequently as a pair, both to reinforce the pair bond and warn intruders away from their territory. Parents also call to their chicks. The call is long, with an inhaling component (OOO) and exhaling component (err); their Hawaiian name ua’u kani means moaning petrel. Both sexes participate in digging a burrow, or repairing the burrow from last year. Nesting burrows of other species are also used. The breeding season of the Bonin Petrel in Hawaii is timed to avoid that of the Wedge-tail; in years where Bonin Petrel chicks are still in burrows when Wedge-tails return to begin breeding these chicks are killed or evicted. It attends these colonies nocturnally, although non-breeding Wedge-tails are often seen at the surface throughout the day and breeding birds will rest outside their burrows before laying.

Both sexes undertake a prelaying exodus in order to build up energy reserves, this usually lasts around 28 days. A single egg is laid, if that egg is lost then the pair will not attempt another that season. After laying the male usually undertakes the first incubation stint. Both sexes incubate the egg, in stints that can last up to 13 days. Incubation takes around 50 days. After hatching the chick is brooded for up to six days, until it is able to thermoregulate, after which it is left alone in the nest while both parents hunt for food. It is initially fed with stomach oil, an energy rich waxy oil of digested prey created in the parent’s gut; later it is fed both solids and stomach oil. Like many procellariids Wedge-tailed Shearwater parents alternate long and short trips to provide food, with the parents alternating between short foraging trips (1-4 days) and long trips (about 8 days), the two parents coordinating their feeding effort. Chicks increase in size to 560 g (larger than the adults) then drop to around 430 g before fledging. Fledging occurs after 103-115 days, after which the chick is independent of the adult.


aruntp, Argus, drchoneydew, maaciejka, pegos, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Very close : )manyee 2 11-16 05:48
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • aruntp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 590 W: 1 N: 357] (5379)
  • [2011-11-15 22:10]

good close up. tfs.

...what a fuzzy little fellow. How close were you able to get to him? Nice capture

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-11-16 2:39]

Hello Manyee,
I have seen the Wedge-tailed Shearwater off the Australian coast in heavy seas and managed to take a shot of it with a compact.
So its nice to see this close up of a chick at the mouth of its burrow taken with fine sharpness and natural colours in good lighting.
TFS this!

aww what a grey fuzzy lil critter! Great you could get so close!

Hi Manyee,
great sweet photo of this bird. Excellent point of view. Nice colours.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-11-16 12:21]

Hello Manyee,
splendid image of this nice bird with excellent detail, great clarity and perfect POV. Well done!
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-11-16 19:40]

Hello Manyee,
Now this is one cute ball of fuzzy down, with eyes and a beak. Great close-up of this tiny fellow. Nice sharp focus with attractive natural coloration. This is a new one for me. Wonderful notes. Well done!!

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