Why are there groups of dead or dying birds on the beach?


Each year, many Short-tailed Shearwaters (also called ‘muttonbirds’) die at sea during their migration along the NSW coast. This event is an unfortunate, but natural occurrence. Every few years, wind and tides cause these birds to wash up on our beaches dead or in advanced stages of decline. Unfortunately very little can be done for these birds as history has shown attempts at rehabilitation by even the most experienced wildlife carers are almost invariably futile.

More information about shearwaters

What to do if you find a group of shearwaters on the beach

Residents are advised to leave the birds on the beach. The natural cycle of our beaches will ensure that the birds will not remain on the beaches for an extended period of time.

Banded birds

Some of the mutton birds have been banded by researchers. If you find a banded dead shearwater or any other banded seabird should report the band to: