Birds of Heard and McDonald Islands

Birds of Heard and McDonald Islands

The Birds of Heard Island and the adjacent McDonald Islands, whether breeders or visitors, are almost all seabirds which find their food at sea in the waters of the surrounding Southern Ocean. An exception is the Black-faced Sheathbill, an opportunistic scavenger around seal and penguin colonies and the only solely terrestrial breeding bird species present on the Islands. The Southern Giant-Petrel and Subantarctic Skua are also scavengers as well as predators at seabird colonies.

Heard Island is an important breeding site for Macaroni, Rockhopper, Gentoo and King Penguins. Endemic species or subspecies are the Heard Island Cormorant and the Black-faced Sheathbill. The surrounding waters are home to numerous species of albatross and petrel, some of which breed on the islands, including the endangered Southern Giant-Petrel and the Wandering Albatross, both threatened by long-line fishing.

List of birds

* Spheniscidae
** King Penguin, "Aptenodytes patagonicus" - breeding
** Rockhopper Penguin, "Eudyptes chrysocome" - breeding
** Macaroni Penguin, "Eudyptes chrysolophus" - breeding
** Adelie Penguin, "Pygoscelis adeliae" - visitor
** Chinstrap Penguin, "Pygoscelis antarctica" - visitor
** Gentoo Penguin, "Pygoscelis papua" – breeding
* Procellariidae
** Cape Petrel, "Daption capense" - breeding
** Southern Fulmar, "Fulmarus glacialoides" - visitor
** Blue Petrel, "Halobaena caerulea" - visitor - Vulnerable
** Southern Giant-Petrel, "Macronectes giganteus" - breeding - Endangered
** Northern Giant-Petrel, "Macronectes halli" - visitor - Vulnerable
** Slender-billed Prion, "Pachyptila belcheri" - visitor
** Fulmar Prion, "Pachyptila crassirostris" - breeding
** Antarctic Prion, "Pachyptila desolata" - breeding
** Broad-billed Prion, "Pachyptila vittata" - visitor
** Snow Petrel, "Pagodroma nivea" - visitor
** South Georgian Diving Petrel, "Pelecanoides georgicus" - breeding
** Common Diving-Petrel, "Pelecanoides urinatrix" - breeding
** White-chinned Petrel, "Procellaria aequinoctialis" - visitor
** Grey Petrel, "Procellaria cinerea" - visitor
** Barau's Petrel, "Pterodroma baraui" - visitor
** Kerguelen Petrel, "Pterodroma brevirostris" - visitor
** Mottled Petrel, "Pterodroma inexpectata" - visitor
** White-headed Petrel, "Pterodroma lessonii" - visitor
** Great-winged Petrel, "Pterodroma macroptera" - visitor
** Soft-plumaged Petrel, "Pterodroma mollis" - visitor - Vulnerable
** Antarctic Petrel, "Thalassoica antarctica" – visitor
* Diomedeidae
** Southern Royal Albatross, "Diomedea epomophora" - visitor - Vulnerable
** Wandering Albatross, "Diomedea exulans" - breeding - Vulnerable
** Black-browed Albatross, "Diomedea melanophris" - breeding
** Sooty Albatross, "Phoebetria fusca" - visitor - Vulnerable
** Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, "Phoebetria palpebrata" - breeding
** Yellow-nosed Albatross, "Thalassarche chlororhynchos" - visitor
** Grey-headed Albatross, "Thalassarche chrysostoma" - visitor – Vulnerable
* Hydrobatidae
** White-bellied Storm-Petrel, "Fregetta grallaria" - visitor
** Black-bellied Storm-Petrel, "Fregetta tropica" - visitor
** Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, "Garrodia nereis" - visitor
** Wilson's Storm-Petrel, "Oceanites oceanicus" – breeding
* Phalacrocoracidae
** Heard Island Cormorant, "Phalacrocorax nivalis" - endemic species – Vulnerable
* Chionididae
** Black-faced Sheathbill, "Chionis minor nasicornis" - endemic subspecies
* Scolopacidae
** Common Greenshank, "Tringa nebularia" – vagrant
* Laridae
** Subantarctic Skua, "Catharacta lonnbergi" - breeding
** South Polar Skua, "Catharacta maccormicki" - visitor
** Kelp Gull, "Larus dominicanus" - breeding
** Arctic Tern, "Sterna paradisaea" - visitor
** Kerguelen Tern, "Sterna virgata" - vagrant
** Antarctic Tern, "Sterna vittata" - breeding


* Anon. (2005). 'Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management Plan'. Australian Antarctic Division. ISBN 1-876934-08-5
* Barrett, Geoff; Silcocks, Andrew; Barry, Simon; Cunningham, Ross; & Poulter, Rory (2003). 'The New Atlas of Australian Birds'. Melbourne: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. ISBN 1-875122-09-5
* [ Birding-Aus Mailing List Archives]
* Marchant, S.; Higgins. (Eds). (1990). 'Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 1: Ratites to Ducks'. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553068-3
* Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J.; & Davies, J.N. (Eds). (1994). 'Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings'. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1
* Woehler, E.J. (1991). Status and conservation of the seabirds of Heard Island and the McDonald Islands. In: Croxall, J.P. (Ed.), 'Seabird Status and Conservation: A Supplement'. ICBP Technical Publication No. 11. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge.
* Woehler, E.J. (2006) Status and conservation of the seabirds of Heard Island and the McDonald Islands. In: Green, K. & Woehler, E.J. (eds) "Heard Island, Southern Ocean Sentinel". Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, Australia, pp 128-165.

External links

* [ Heard Island nature]

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