Say Hello to the Fratercula Australis Stercus (the Australian Shitpuffin)


Welcome to puffins.  They are cute.  They don’t move much.

In Australia, we have a mutation of the puffin. The Shitpuffin. But just what is a shitpuffin?

In order to define just what the The Australian Shitpuffin (Fratercula Stercus Australis) is and does, we need to understand the behaviour of its originator.  Puffins (Fratercula) tend to gather around and not move all that much. They are known to squawk a bit. They seem to like to potter around and that’s pretty much it. They are generally inoffensive – and there’s many admirers, because they are generally cute and inoffensive.  The question we need to ask is, most of us like shitpuffins, but what purpose do they really serve, evolutionarily speaking?


  • Seen most behind a computer or phone screen
  • Often witnessed pursuing high paying careers
  • During weekends, pottering around the house, online or perhaps a rally
  • Rarely seen venturing beyond their community into poorer areas


We experience the Stercus Australis mostly as an online based entity. They are generally professionals, or casuals who want to be professionals with some time on their hands to scour things online. Or sit down on a Monday night and watch the ABC. They like to think of themselves as being progressive and making a difference, to the extent of undertaking the following behaviour:

  • Building a Social Media Brand focused on being Progressive, Edgy, Passionate or being gripped by the daily commentary by those who are
  • Going online and expressing outrage about the latest progressive issue
  • Watching Q and A and grumbling about its guests online, thinking that the discussion does actually sum up “the national conversation”
  • Using phrases like “the national conversation”
  • Watching Insiders, hoping it may become relevant and sensitive to everyday lives -despite it never happening
  • Tweeting about Question Time as if Question Time shenanigans actually mean anything
  • Going to rallies
  • Going on Facebook and ranting about the media ignoring rallies
  • Go to the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” hosted in the plush surrounds of the Sydney Opera House, to be aroused about Dangerous Ideas like Andrew Bolt speaking
  • Say they care about the environment, about social issues. But the extent of their support is generally “awareness”, tweets and Facebook posts.
  • Read particular columns in Fairfax papers and the Guardian if an older variety; Junkee, BuzzFeed and Pedestrian if younger.
  • Watch The Project and is happy when Waleed Aly “Nails It” – retweeting the video of it
  • Hand out how-to-vote sheets at elections, in order to show support, “wave the flag”
  • Can be passive aggressive if challenged on their views
  • Make / share bad memes (like this one)


The Stercus Australis are generally friendly, inoffensive and harmless.  They are much preferable, for example to creatures such as the Aegypius Monachus Stercus Hildebrandia, whose entire existence is spent writing bad columns about the Fratercula Stercus Australis. Their intentions are good.  Many of us exhibit their tendencies from time to time.  It is also possible to see other examples of Fratercula Stercus in other wealthy first world nations.   For things to happen in society to bring progressive change, however, the Fratercula Stercus needs to evolve from being an ineffective, slow moving puffin to being able to affect change in the environment around them.  Otherwise, they may suffer the same fate as their cousins in Iceland.