Meet the Birds

Wedge-tailed Shearwaters arrive in March to prepare a burrow and mate, then lay a single white egg by mid June. The chicks hatch by mid August and fledge by mid November.  All the young leave their nests and fly out to sea by December. They are fully protected by both federal (Migratory Bird Treaty Act) and state law (Wild Bird Law). Yet, they are not considered a threatened or endangered species in the United States or internationally. 

Wedgie Cam

Adult preening chick:

Life Cycle of the Shearwater

1 find mate April June min

1. Find mate

2 Nesting Material April June min

2. Nesting Material

3 Egg June min

3. Egg

4 hatching August Sept min

4. Hatching

5 chick brooding August Sept min

5. Chick brooding

6 chick alone during day Sept min

6. Chick alone during day
August – Sept

7 medium downy October min

7. Medium downy

8 growing tail Oct min

8. Growing tail

9 wings growing Oct min

9. Wings growing

10 chick partly feathered Nov min

10. Chick partly feathered

11 mostly feathered min

11. Mostly feathered
Nov – Dec

12 fully feathered ready to go Dec min

12. Fully feathered ready to go


Surveillance and predator control is ongoing in the nesting season, to minimize and document
predation by rats, cats, and mongooses on breeding shearwaters. To find more about other threats, click on Learn More About Shearwater Ecology and Conservation tab on the Research page.

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FSPtrap 1

Other Birds on FSP

1.8 min

Pacific Golden-Plover

RTTR OnNest1

Red-tailed Tropicbird

WhiteTern OnFence 1

White Tern

Research Findings

Population monitoring of the colony is conducted by David Hyrenbach, Professor of Oceanography, his students at Hawai‘i Pacific University, and Michelle Hester, Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge.  An annual colony count is completed during the peak incubation period (July 14) and once the chicks have hatched (September 14). In 2022, we documented 423 active nests. This is the highest count to date over the last 14 years.