Tropical Shearwater

This is a much smaller shearwater than the Wedge tailed, and has a white throat and belly.  The two species often nest on the same islands; like the Wedge tails Shearwater.

Tropical Shearwaters nest in burrows and are vulnerable to predation by introduced mammals and humans.

Tropical shearwater © Peter Chadwick

Around dusk, birds wait offshore for darkness to fall, before flying to their nesting burrows.  At night the breeding colonies are noisy with their loud calls.

Shearwaters get disorientated by lights at night and may come into houses.


Scientific name: Puffinus bailloni
Creole name: Riga
Wingspan: A64-74 cm
World distribution: Throughout the tropics
Population in Seychelles: About 60,000 pairs in the granitic islands, and less than 100 pairs on Aldabra
Distribution in Seychelles: Breeds on predator-free islands, including Aride, Bird, Cousin, Cousine, Recif, Mamelles. Also in the Amirantes and Aldabra to the South
Nest: In burrows in earth, under rocks. One egg laid.
Diet: Dives to catch small fish and squid
Identification: A small seabird, dark above and white below, with short rounded wings.

See more

Species Fact Sheet at BirdLife Data Zone

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