Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, the Newell's Shearwater is a true mariner of the Pacific, spending most of its life at sea, only coming to land to breed. The species is sometimes called the Hawaiian Shearwater. In the Hawaiian language it is called the ʻaʻo.
Characterized by its dark upperparts contrasting with white underparts, the Newell's Shearwater is easily recognizable. It has a slender, streamlined body adapted for an efficient life on the wing, and its long, narrow wings are perfect for gliding over the ocean waves.
Notably adept at night-time navigation, these birds return to their mountainous nesting colonies under the cover of darkness. Their nesting sites, often hidden in burrows or crevices, are typically located in the high-altitude areas of the Hawaiian Islands. The Newell's Shearwater’s unique 'wedge-tailed' shape is especially prominent in flight, further distinguishing it from other seabirds.
These shearwaters feed predominantly on small fish and squid, often diving from considerable heights to catch their prey. Sadly, the Newell's Shearwater is facing challenges due to habitat loss, light pollution, and predation, leading to its current status as an endangered species.