Typical of remote oceanic islands, the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of the LHIG is dominated by birds. One hundred and eighty two species of birds are recorded from the LHIG, of which 20 are resident landbirds, 14 are breeding seabirds, 17 are regular visitors and 120 are vagrants (McAllan et 2004). At the time of European settlement the native avifauna consisted of 26 species of land bird (including 13 migratory waders) and 13 species of sea bird.
Thirteen (50%) of the land birds were endemic species or subspecies. Eleven of the sea bird species continue to have important breeding populations in the LHIG, with Lord Howe Island reputed to have more sea bird species breeding in higher numbers than anywhere else in Australia (P. Fullagar, in Hutton 1998). Two species of birds are classified as locally extinct as they are only known from subfossil remains (McAllan et al. 2004). In contrast to the sea birds, nine of the land bird species have become extinct in the period since human settlement (all endemic species or subspecies). The most recent extinction was the Lord Howe subspecies of Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae albaria), which was last recorded in the 1950s.
An additional 18 land bird species and five sea bird species have established populations on the LHIG since settlement, either through intentional human introduction or unassisted colonisation.
The below list shows listed threatened and migratory bird species on Lord Howe Island currently impacted by rodents.
Small black and white petrel to 30cm, easily recognised by bold black markings under its wings and loud high-pitched calls.
Large, blackish-brown bird to 46cm. Bill heavy and straw-coloured with dark tip, feet flesh-coloured; eyes brown.
Body and wings light blue-grey, paler on face and breast; primaries darker. Black bill is pointed. Feet and legs black with yellow webs.
Variable colour with light, dark and intermediate phases. Dark underwing with white shafts to primaries in upper wing. The darker form is characteristic at Lord Howe. The tail is short and square cut.
Small shearwater to 20cm with black upperparts and white underparts. Bill short, slender and grey-black; legs bright blue with black markings; feet pale bluish.
Lord Howe Woodhen
Brown flightless bird about the size of a bantam hen, with strong legs and feet and a brown-grey bill.
Large (to 87cm) white bird with black tips to flight feathers; black mask on face and around eyes. Yellow bill with base black; legs and feet flesh grey or yellow.
Dark grey petrel to 40cm. Underparts paler, head grey-brown with white scaly feathers around the face. Bill stout and black, eyes dark brown.
White-Bellied Storm Petrel
Compact (to 20cm) black and white bird with a square-cut tail. Upper breast black, rump and belly showing white.