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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issues 1 and 2 (New Zealand Albatrosses and Petrels: an Identification Guide)

24. Buller's Shearwater — (Puffinus bulleri) — Plate 14

24. Buller's Shearwater
(Puffinus bulleri)
Plate 14

Field Characters: 107/46. A large, slender-bodied shearwater with broad wings and long wedge-shaped tail. The light grey upperparts are boldly patterned with a dark brown cap, conspicuous dark open ‘ M ’ marking across the wings, and sooty brown tail. Underparts entirely white.

Bill long, slender and slate grey. Feet fleshy pink with black outer sides.

Differs from light-phased Wedge-tailed (Hawaiian) Shearwater (60) by its conspicuously patterned upperparts and wholly white underwing.

The flight is powerful, with measured wingbeats interspersed with stiff-winged glides low to the surface of the sea in calm weather. Wide sweeping arcs with stiffly held wings and skimming of wave tops is typical in windy weather.

Summer breeder on Poor Knights Islands (North Auckland). Migrates to the North Pacific during southern winter. Common in New Zealand seas during summer, mainly from Cook Strait north.
Fig. 14: Head study of a Buller's Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri). Note the long slender beak and long neck, typical of the shearwaters. —Photo: P. C. Harper

Fig. 14: Head study of a Buller's Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri). Note the long slender beak and long neck, typical of the shearwaters.
—Photo: P. C. Harper